Dubai professor says developing 'space gum' for astronauts
Dr Franziska Apprich aims to play her part in supporting the UAE’s ambitions for travel to Mars
A Dubai-based professor aims to play her part in supporting the UAE's ambitions for travel to Mars by developing space gum.
Dr Franziska Apprich, an assistant professor at Canadian University Dubai (CUD), is working with a colleague at New York University Abu Dhabi to create a unique form of chewing gum that will have a whole host of benefits for interplanetary travellers.
Known as UAE Space Gum, the prototype of the new product contains natural gum, silver particles, date paste, honey and vitamin C, all wrapped up in a shimmering star-shaped silver package, a statement said.
It added that the space gum is entirely UAE-produced, and focuses on providing health and nutritional benefits.
The plan comes as the UAE embarks on its Mars 2117 project which was launched by Sheikh Mohammed earlier this year which aims to build a city on Mars within the next century.
Dr Apprich said: "Chewing gum can help to relieve tension, which may be an issue for those taking a voyage into the unknown. It can also help to maintain oral hygiene, which is a practical concern for space travellers."
Revealing the science behind the ingredients, she added: "The gum is all natural, so that no harmful additives are absorbed into the system. The vitamin C provides support to the immune system in what will be an unknown environment, and the silver is used to treat bacteria in the mouth to prevent gum disease. Honey delivers an energy boost, while the date paste provides flavour, and of course, a tribute to the culture of the UAE."
She added that she is also in talks with suppliers in the UAE with a view to launch her space gum product locally to help to solve the nation's growing obesity problem.
Having already made a bid to showcase the product at Expo 2020, Dr Apprich said she plans to work with UAE ministries and Space Agency to bring the product to fruition.
In November, Sheikh Mohammed approved the final designs of the UAE's Mars Hope probe which is scheduled to reach the Red Planet in 2021.
He gave the green light to start manufacturing the probe's prototypes, the Arab world's first Mars probe.
In 2015, Dubai unveiled the blueprints for the first Arab mission to Mars.
Source: Arabian Business