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Hit-Or-Miss

Of Course, Historian Reveals Bacon Was the First Thing Eaten On the Moon

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After conquering low gravity and muttering something about giant leaps, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin sat down to a celebratory meal. Given the lack of champagne out in space, Spaceflight historian Amy Shira Teital revealed on Vintage Space that the first meal eaten on the moon consisted of bacon cubes.

[B]acon cubes were among the meals stored in the lunar module. And it worked out that meal A, the first scheduled meal to be eaten on the Moon, consisted of bacon squares, peaches, sugar cookie cubes, pineapple grapefruit drink and coffee. They ate history’s first meal on Moon slightly ahead of schedule after landing at the Sea of Tranquility.

However, if you’re imagining two astronauts enjoying petite bacon bits on dainty crackers while gazing at Earth on the horizon, think not. These “bacon squares” were most likely dried up, meat-like salty treats that have since been replaced with freeze-dried sausage patties that are rehyrdrated with hot water. Not quite the same ring to it as #spacebacon.

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Video

Here is What Space Chocolate Cake & Coffee Look Like

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Every kid wants to be an astronaut at some point. The idea of floating around a spaceship while exploring the universe at the speed of light (sigh, if only) is a thrilling thought I used to spend hours dreaming about back in grade school. Of course, all that’s peaches and gravy — yes, peaches and gravy damnit — until you find out what astronauts actually have to eat in space.

Basically, their diet consists of pulverized protein, sugar and vitamins resembling something not too unlike sad baby food. Hence, the “chocolate cake” and “coffee” in the video below that was taken at the International Space Station. All I can say is, Chris Hadfield, you are one brave, brave soul.

H/T Laughing Squid

Categories
Technology

The Evolution of Weightless, Tasteless Astronaut Food

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No childhood would be complete without a taste of freeze-dried ice cream bought at the completion of a yearly field trip to your local science museum. As you stare, wide eyed at the majesty before you, a few questions might have popped into your head. Such as, “How did they do it?,” and “Why haven’t Ben and Jerry gotten in on the action?” If only this gallery of the past 50 years of NASA space food had been available, all of your most crucial elementary school questions would have been answered.

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The original line-up consisted of foods such as crackers and nuts that were vacuum-packed and shipped off to space. As pallets became more sophisticated (pinky out), food followed suit and astronauts were given more choices of protein, in addition to the traditional freeze-dried buffet. I imagine fondue never made it out, though an orbiting shuttle full of melted cheese does sound delectable.

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From food brought aboard the Apollo missions, whose containers had more resemblance to I.V. bags than anything you’d desire to place in your mouth, to having the ability to prepare more complex meals, the  SFSL (Space Food Systems Laboratory) has made many advancements in the name of space science. We guess you could say that’s “One small nibble for man, one giant munch for foodie kind.”

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H/T Laughing Squid

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Mars Mission Astronauts Will Have Just Two Menu Options, and Both Seem Pretty Miserable

I’m sure being locked for three years in a pressurized metal container would be enough to turn anyone into a green, hulking rage monster, but imagine if your only diet options while up there were to go completely vegan or only eat pre-packaged space food.

Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to see us when we’re hungry.

In preparation for a planned journey to Mars in the 2030s (about 18 years from now) scientists are racing against the clock to create a sustainable meal plan for a team of six to eight astronauts to last the duration of the trip, or a whole two and a half years. Laid out, this will come out to approximately six months getting there, six months back and 18 months in between doing like, science and stuff.

The main problem with such a trip is the distance, says Maya Cooper, one of the senior researchers on the Mars Meal Plan Project. “Mars is different just because it’s so far away,” she explains, “We don’t have the option to send a vehicle every six months and send more food as we do for International Space Station.”

To tackle this issue, Cooper and her team are experimenting with a “Martian Greenhouse,” which will allow astronauts to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables to be used in their 100% vegetarian meals, as meats and dairy products won’t last the trip. They are also considering the alternative of having all pre-packaged meals which will have to sustain a five year shelf life.

Citing the importance of variety to both psychological health and nutrition, researchers say the ideal would be to combine the two menus, though Gizmodo joked that a third option could be to make a preservative-chocked McDonalds run the night before the launch.

Personally, I think all three options are bunk, but hey, even vegan pizza is bound to sound better than soggy fries after the first three to four hours (or you know, seasons). Let’s just hope Cooper and co. can get their act together in time.

[Via Huffington Post]

Categories
Packaged Food

NASA Giving Out Space Food (Plus Shipping)

NASA Space Food

How many FOODBEAST readers wanted to grow up to be an astronaut? For some, the dream is a little closer than they realize, at least when it comes to eating like an astronaut.

According to an LA Times blog, NASA will be giving away some 350 dehydrated meals to cities and schools, which includes: an entrée, a dessert, and a drink, bit will cost $28.03 after shipping and handling.

Steven J. Kempf, commissioner of the General Service Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service, states, “Not only are we preserving a critical part of our nation’s history, but we are reusing government property in an unexpected way by giving these NASA artifacts a second life in our nation’s schools.”

The packages of food are considered to be a consolation for some cities that were not fortunate enough to land a space shuttle after losing out to Los Angeles. NASA advises that these meals are “not for consumption” and are purely for historical value. Still, It would be pretty cool to own some space meatloaf. Even if you can’t eat it.

(Photo Credit: NASA Images)