Tuesday , April 20 2021

Surprisingly familiar food astronauts really eat in space

Neil Armstrong has been able to take the first small step to humor on the moon, but it was John Glenn, who first picked apple sauce for hops.

Until he ate ground all year round in 1962, NASA researchers were not sure that people could swallow and sniff food in space. Fortunately, he paid off with no gravity without any problems. Today, astronauts sometimes spend months at a time living in an International Space Station (ISS) so they get pretty hungry without a few snacks!

Of course, when the human body is happy to have a meal when it is 250 miles down the earth, the food preparation and eating process is not exactly the same as at home. That is why NASA scientists continue to make complete astronaut menus. A healthy diet is even more important for space agents than here on the surface, because spending space time in space will begin to abandon your bones and muscle mass. NASA needs to find out how to get food inside the rocket, keep it as long as possible and make sure it gives the perfect balance of nutrients – and keep astronauts from getting bored!

Chocolate sauce is in the menu, but it comes in a bag and saves space.

Chocolate sauce is in the menu, but it comes in a bag and saves space. Photo: Jennifer Soo

"Imagine that you are trying to eat the same food for every meal for six months.You can get tired of eating and eating less than maintaining the weight, health and performance.We need to ensure that there are a wealth of healthy foods available to astronauts to make choices" , says F. Ryan Dowdy, ISS Food Director at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Astronauts can choose about 200 foods. According to Dowd, many options are surprisingly similar to the meals we eat on earth.

"Whether it's a pasta and a cheese or a chocolate sauce, it is important that the astronauts eat to remind the home," he says. "Food can be an important psychological comfort in a stressful state."

Look, no shit! Tortillas are a good alternative to bread in space.

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

It's a unique preparation: food must often be seized six months before it goes to space – and it takes weeks or months at a time when it's there – so NASA plans everything that has a shelf life of at least two years. Macaroni and cheese are freeze-dried (meaning that most of the moisture is removed, making it safe for storage at room temperature), and astronauts add hot water to the space station. The chocolate sauce cake is kept in the same way as a preservative, but NASA puts it in a flexible bag so it takes less space.

Some of the earth's foods are already perfectly suited to the zero-gravity consumption. For example, Tortillas is a great alternative to bread – they last long during storage and do not make bites that float around and cling to important parts of the vessel. Astronauts can also request small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables every time NASA sends supplies, but for the most part they eat a variety of combinations of highly durable stored foods.

As NASA looks at the future of space flight – Martian tasks and perhaps even further – the agency must design more durable foods. Mars lasts about eight months, and astronauts must also support the food home. Dowdy says that NASA is trying to extend the shelf life of foods for about five years, but experiments on space training are part of the plan.

ISS astronauts are able to farm for example small salads, but Dowdy says it will take some time before this is a viable source of calories. He thinks that three-dimensional printed delicacies can also be in the menu one day soon. One thing is certain: It takes a lot of scientific know-how to feed future space scientists.

Washington Post

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