Three pounds of sugar refined here in Baltimore are now up floating in space as part of an experiment involving gravity and sugar crystal growth.
Domnio Sugar packed its granulated goods into a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday that brought a bunch of cargo to the International Space Station. The rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and should be reaching the ISS pretty soon. (NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson says in this video that the journey from launch to dock takes about three days.)
The sugar will be used for science. Astronauts onboard will grow sugar crystals in a zero-gravity environment, while schoolchildren here on Earth will grow them in a normal atmosphere for purposes of comparison.
“We support educational STEM programs at schools around the country, so we were thrilled when we were approached with this inventive program that uses our sugar products in a unique way to inspire young students to engage with and learn about science,” said Domino Foods president and CEO Brian O’Malley in a statement.
California-based C&H Sugar Company is also taking part.
Students can participate in the experiment using 32-page crystal growth experiment kits available via Kickstarter. Each one costs $25 and serves a whole classroom. DreamUp, NanoRacks and Xtronaut came up with the idea.
Domino’s Baltimore refinery has had a high-profile year. In addition to sending its sugar to space, it also received its largest shipment on record in October. The company is the last legacy manufacturer still operating in the harbor.
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