Pasta-loving Italian astronauts will be able to tuck into their favourite meals, thanks to Océ flatbed Ariozona enabling printing onto polyethylene packaging.
An Italian food processing company was tasked with providing a contractor with the packaging for dehydrated meals to be consumed by astronauts during missions in 2013.
It required printing and submitting samples of different polyethylene packaging that was subjected to military-level testing including temperature variables, checks for resistance and vacuum conditions, plus safety and boiling tests, all overseen by the various levels of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Using its Océ Arizona 550 GT inkjet flatbed, the company was able to pass all tests and received the go-ahead to print some hundred polyethylene packages with the delicacy name, the ESA logo along with the contractor logo and other reference codes.
Steven Badger, Océ product manager, Oce Arizona Australia says “In space no-one can hear you scream with delight. However, it’s clear we were able to announce the equivalent of ‘Houston, we don’t have a problem.”
Many details of the project have remained secret at the request of the contractor and the customer.