No more cans. Since the end of this year, products for astronauts of the International Space Station, which were previously packed in iron cans, will now be packed in a container made of a laminate, which is an aluminum foil with a laminated coating of polypropylene film. The transition to lamister packaging will be trial, and therefore partial. But in the future this container can completely replace the banks currently used.
The choice of the lamister is explained by the fact that this material weighs considerably less than the previous container, and therefore it will allow reducing the cost of delivering food products to orbit, Izvestia reports with reference to the Research Institute of Food Concentrate Industry and Special Food Technology (NII PIP), where some products have already begun to pack in lamister packaging. While in the presented menu of products with new packaging there are four dishes – squash caviar, dried apricots, crushed cranberries and “Appetizing appetizer”.
The line for packing in lamister was launched at the institute in 2016. But it took time to work out the production regimes, manufacture the first test batch, and test its qualities. It is expected that the first products in the new container will appear on the ISS at the end of this – early next year.
Technologists note that the food retains its taste in the lamistere much better than in aluminum containers. In addition, the new package is lighter, which is undoubtedly an important factor when considering the cost of bringing useful cargo to orbit. In the end, it is easier to open the lamster packaging. After use it can easily crumple (to save space). It is possible that in a few years space canned food in banks can only be met only in museums, as it once was with tubes for eating. They, too, suffered such a fate, perhaps, except that with rare exceptions, some products still use such containers.
Now basically all products for the Russian crew of the ISS are sent to the station in a sublimated form or in the form of canned food. Including soups. Exceptions are only a few menu items that are packed in special tubes: tomato sauce “Moldova”, seasoning apple-cranberry, honey and mustard.
Cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev told Izvestia that reducing the weight of the package and the possibility of crushing it after eating food is a good thing. But it is necessary to test the ergonomics of the lamister in zero-gravity conditions.
“If the new packaging is easier, it is more profitable,” said Alexander Samokutyaev.
“Another issue is the convenience of using it in conditions of weightlessness. Opening sprats, you make an effort not to sprinkle oil. The same in space – we always try to hold a lid on the napkin so that the spray does not fly through the station. To do this, you need a special skill: the first time anyone can not open the bank without problems. Perhaps, the new packaging will reduce such risks. On the other hand, if there is no stiffness in the jar, you may need a special skill, skill. It must be tried, tested. On Earth, this is not modeled. The ability to crumple packaging is also good. Crews try to flatten metal cans, so that in garbage they take up less space. Of course, plastic containers can be denser packed in bags. “