"Turn it just like this," the uniformed instructor tells the alert crew of trainee astronauts gathered around the workspace. "And then this next piece twists in the other direction." The first trainee approaches the table.
The instructor, Rupert Spies, is reassuring. "Or, if you don't want épi de blé, you could just leave the dough as a regular baguette."
We are at Cornell University, in a culinary classroom, where nine elite trainees are preparing for a simulated space mission. They are spending a week here learning how to cook on Mars. Today's lesson is on baking bread and pizza from scratch.
The project, called HI-SEAS, is intended to help build a strategy for feeding a human Mars colony, analyzing energy and resource requirements and nutritional parameters, and exploring the hypothesis that giving astronauts a choice of tasty foods and allowing them to prepare their own space cuisine will significantly improve morale.