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The surprisingly famous food astronauts actually eat in space

Neil Armstrong may have taken the first little step for the man on the moon, but it was John Glenn…

Neil Armstrong may have taken the first little step for the man on the moon, but it was John Glenn who took the first sip of apple sauce for humanity.

Until he ate when he circled around the world in 1962, scientists at NASA were warned. Surely people can swallow and melt food in space. Fortunately he chowed down to zero gravity without any problems. Today’s astronauts spend sometimes months at a time in the International Space Station (ISS), so they get quite hungry without any snacks!

Of course, while the human body is happy to have a meal while floating 250 miles above the ground, the process of cooking and eating is not exactly the same as it is at home. Therefore, NASA researchers are still working hard to perfect astronaut menus. A healthy diet is even more important for spacecrackers than it is here on the surface, to spend time in space causing your body to start losing legs and muscle mass. NASA needs to figure out how to send food into a rocket, store it as long as possible and make sure it provides a perfect balance of nutrients &#821

1; and it must keep the astronauts boring too!  Chocolate pudding is on the menu, but comes in a bag to save space. Chocolate pudding is on the menu but comes in a bag to save space. Photo: Jennifer Soo

“Imagine eating the same food for every meal for six months. You can get tired of eating and eating less than you need to maintain weight, health and performance. That’s why we have to ensure that there is a large amount of healthy food available to astronauts to make choices, “said F. Ryan Dowdy, ISS Food System Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Astronauts have about 200 foods to choose from. According to Dowdy, many options are surprisingly similar to meals we eat on Earth.

“Whether it’s macaroni and cheese or chocolate pudding cake, it’s important for astronauts to eat to be reminded of the home,” he says. “Food can be an important psychological comfort in space’s stressful environment.”

 Look, No crumbs! Tortillas are a good alternative to bread in space. Look, no crumbs! Tortillas are a good alternative to bread in space. Photo: Quentin Jones

It’s the preparation that’s unique: Food Must often be in storage for six months before it goes to space – lasting for weeks or months at a time when it’s up there – so NASA designs everything with a shelf life of at least two years. Macaroni and cheese are freeze dried (meaning it most of the moisture is removed, making it safe to store at room temperature) and the astronauts put hot water on the space station. The chocolate pudding cake is preserved in the same way as canned food, but NASA puts it in a flexible make sure it takes up less space.

Some ground foods are already perfectly adapted for zero gravity consumption. Tortillas are, for example, a good alternative to bread – they last for a long time, and they do not form curves floating around and caught in important parts of the ship. Astronauts can also request small quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables when NASA sends deliveries, but most of the time they eat different combinations of super-preserved stored foods.

As NASA looks forward to spacecraft’s future – tasked with Mars, and maybe even longer – the agency needs to design even more sustainable food. It takes about eight months to come to Mars, and astronauts must also bring food for the trip home. Dowdy says that NASA is working to extend the life of its food for about five years, but space utilization experiments are also part of the plan.

The astronauts at ISS have the opportunity to grow plants as a salad in small quantities, but Dowdy says it will take some time before this is a sustainable calorie source. He thinks that 3-D prints can also be on the menu any day soon. One thing is certain: It will take a lot of scientific knowledge to feed future space researchers.

Washington Post

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