Not only that, which is brilliant enough, but the British astronaut’s sandwich was also specially designed by Heston Blumenthal for the occasion.
Why do you need a bacon sandwich to be specially designed…it’s just bacon and bread, right? Yes, if you’re on Earth, but this one was quite literally out of this world.
The porcine package in question was put together as part of Channel 4′s Heston’s Dinner In Space, which aired this week. In the programme, the chef teamed up with the UK Space Agency, the ESA and Nasa to design meals for Tim Peake to eat while he’s on his six-month stay aboard the International Space Station.
Space food is usually dehydrated and powered – it has to cope with zero gravity, the effect that space has on taste (which is, by all accounts, quite considerable) and no moisture is allowed.
It is also worth noting that bread has been banned in space since astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich (on rye bread, just so you know), into space in 1965, and the crumbs caused a fair bit of chaos. Everyone was fine, but bread was prohibited as a result.
And while we’re on the subject of sandwiches in space, Yuri Gagarin, a Russian Soviet cosmonaut, carried a homemade salami sandwich on to his historic flight, when he became the first human to journey into outer space – his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.
And Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to eat on the moon when they consumed ham-salad sandwiches – but those were dehydrated, so just powder, really.
Blumenthal and his team spent months developing the sandwich, trying all sorts of methods and combinations, to make sure it actually tasted like bacon when Peake tasted it hundreds of miles above earth. And it was the world’s most expensive bacon sandwich – Blumenthal said on the programme that the fuel alone to send the meal into space cost “a couple of million pounds”.
Peake was reportedly so excited that he couldn’t wait to try it. Blumenthal said: “It was supposed to be a treat for later, but he had it on the first day!”
Two years of research
The sandwich was the result of two years of research, as Blumenthal feared giving Peake food poisoning: “There’s no hospital - if someone was really ill up there, what would happen?”
And if the roles were reversed and it was Blumenthal in space, he was asked what he would choose: “It would be tea from a cup and an ordinary sandwich...I’d have ham and cheese.”