Most people outgrow the days of carving rivulets in mashed potato mountains or castles out of seasoned squash—but scientists aren’t “most people.” One ragtag team of researchers and culinary experts are harnessing the power of 3-D food printers to bring the science of playing-with-your-food to new levels, such as outer space.
In a project called fab@home, Cornell’s Computational Synthesis Laboratory and the French Culinary Institute have made a giant leap for mankind by fashioning a miniature space shuttle made of pureed scallops and cheese.
So what does it take to create such intricate food sculptures? Cornell graduate research student Jeffrey Lipton told CBC News:
“The process is pretty simple … Just as … your 2D printer puts droplets of ink onto a page to create an image, this draws lines of material on top of each other to create a 3D object.”
How do we say goodbye? As the Space Shuttle program comes to a 2011 close, NASA has announced two shuttle-related music competitions. Also museums are already lining up like Black Friday shoppers to get their hands on one of those soon-to-be retired vehicles.
In a contest dubbed the “American Idol for space,” NASA invites musicians to create an original song to compliment the STS-134 mission, and asks them to submit their musical stylings online by January 10, 2011. After a NASA panel picks a set of finalists, website visitors can vote for the winner. The top two songs will play during the final shuttle flight in February 2011.
Another ongoing competition asks the public to choose from a top 40 list of previous “wake-up songs”–music used to help astronauts rise from their orbiting slumbers. Selections include the theme from Star Trek (old school version), Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” and U2′s “Beautiful Day.” The top two will play during the STS-133 mission scheduled for this November.