As progress the food for astronauts

In 1962, the American John Glenn on board the spacecraft "Friendship 7" squeezed out of metallic tubes of applesauce and mashed potatoes with beef and vegetables directly into his mouth through the hole in the suit. It was all so exciting that is firmly lodged in the collective consciousness as the image of what the astronauts eat.

As progress the food for astronauts

Since the space food has changed dramatically, and today is a far from simple mass with the necessary calories for a brief flight to the moon. The astronauts live in orbit for months, and it requires a certain level of comfort, including in the diet. We have traced the evolution of the cosmic food since the beginning of the 60s until today, and know what awaits her in the future.


Food in tubes was really popular in the US. But not among those who were supposed to have had it. Until the mid-60s and mission "Gemini" and "Apollo" in the trend was dehydrated, freeze-dried food in the form of bars, which can be eaten by human beings, but by then which was a lot of floating in weightlessness crumbs, damage equipment.

Space food '50s and' 60s has become a real symbol of the modernist and instilled belief in progress.

In the era of power systems often involved manufacturers of washing machines and dryers. Corporation "Whirlpool", for example, in 1961, it introduced a model "Space cuisine" - a refrigerator, a freezer, a water tank and the food storage compartments built into size 3 cylinder 2 and 5 meters. It was assumed that this is enough to store all the food needed during the 14-day mission. From 1957 to 1973, "Whirlpool" has fulfilled 300 contracts for the production of space kitchens, 60 people were working in their state that are designed, tested, and packaged food for astronauts.

As progress the food for astronauts

One of the most famous of their products - ice cream astronaut. Despite the fact that it can be found in any souvenir shop of any space museum, space ice cream was visited only once - on board the "Apollo 7" in 1968.

Over the past decade, there were many experiments with space meal. At one time we tried to include in the diet of the wine, but it was not enough, and wandered to a sterile space. I had to give up soda, because she behaved very strangely in conditions of weightlessness.

One of the main innovations began quilting, which was attached to the food tray, because in space it can easily fly away, before you start to eat it.

Tray, in turn, attached to the table. The table itself on the space station originally was not, because it is still impossible to put anything. But then he appeared at the request of the astronauts, who would sit at the table and there is a human being.

As progress the food for astronauts


On board the International Space Station, people live for 6 months, and the food, being an important factor in the psychological climate within the team, requires a particularly reverent approach.

Today, astronauts menu even a variety of restaurants. According to NASA, the astronauts can choose from more than 200 kinds of food and beverages, most of which are developed by the Laboratory of Space Food Systems in the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. For about 8-9 months prior to the flight of the special session on the food assessment, where astronauts are trying to choose their meals and breakfasts, lunches, dinners and suppers. The food contains all the nutrients you need, because the astronauts need to consume per day as much calories as on Earth.

As progress the food for astronauts

Some of the food is in dehydrated form, which reduces its weight and volume. Vegetables, fish or meat, for example, are irradiated and heat treatment to kill various micro-organisms and enzymes. Nuts or baking sent into space in its normal state

Salt and pepper are in the form of liquids, and coffee and juice - in the form of powders. As bread prefer to use the tortilla (Mexican tortillas), which does not crumble. About their benefits says Chris Hendfild in this video:

Menu on the ISS is repeated every 8 days. On holidays the astronauts can request a variety of things that remind them of home. They also have a "set of psychological support" from friends and family. But a simple assortment of food is not enough, so as not to lose your appetite.

Space food problem is that the taste is not the same as on Earth - a softer and with a strange taste.

Some features are dictated by the body - in weightlessness in the upper part of our body accumulates more liquid, so the astronauts first few days of high blood pressure, and they do not smell. Including why the taste of the food becomes a little different. To this end, the astronauts take with them a lot of sauces, especially acute.

Of the most popular dishes it has long been a shrimp cocktail, because the flavor of frozen shrimp and sauce is not particularly varied. One of the astronauts even eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In recent years, especially after the numerous cooking shows have become mainstream, with NASA began to cooperate the best chef. So there was, for example, space kimchi (Korean cuisine dish of sharply spiced pickled vegetables).

As progress the food for astronauts



If a half-century ago, space mission lasted only a few weeks, but today there is a question of food systems for missions lasting years. NASA already thinking about the special "hydroponic labs" where astronauts can grow vegetables, potatoes, beans, wheat and rice.

In the long-term missions of the issue of loss of appetite from the same food is particularly acute. One solution - to allow astronauts to prepare their own meals. Food not only allows you to use all sorts of ingredients, but also rallies the team.

In reality, before cooking it has not yet reached, because it requires a lot of water and energy, which are just the same in short supply in the conditions of space and time, astronauts, whose life mission conditions are actually very busy. Well, in the end, weightlessness, too, plays a role.

However, the gravity on Mars and there is about 38 per cent of the earth.

In 2013, as part of the NASA project called HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation) within 4 months of simulated flight to Mars and the possibility of cooking astronauts. The researchers wanted to make it possible to create a fundamentally different power system. The hypothesis was as follows: if the astronauts will be able to cook, being on the surface of another planet, they will be able to restore the lost appetite.

As progress the food for astronauts

The team had 6 people that could cook only in strictly certain days. Of the devices were only cooker, oven and kettle. Of products - only those that are suitable for long-term storage - flour, rice, sugar and freeze-dried ingredients - which is extremely important, because a large amount of energy is not wasted in cooling products. According to the participants, they were waiting for the days when they were allowed to cook - in these times food is obtained simply better. Plus usually prepared for two, which contributed to the communication and relieves the tension. When you're locked up for a long time in a fairly small space, cooking - it is also an opportunity to show some creativity.

Less self-prepared lay in the fact that the astronauts have spent on it a lot of time, but in a long-term mission impossible to focus on the efficiency of spending alone time, otherwise it will cause great psychological distress.

The team in the study was collected from the different cultures that sometimes effect on what kind of food the participants would like to cook. One was missing the bacon, the other - the bread. In addition, they all had very different skills in cooking, which is quite logical - a spacecraft can not consist only of chefs.

The most popular dishes in the virtual mission to Mars were mashed potatoes (from the flakes) and various soups - from seafood chowder to borscht. Some dishes were invented on the fly, for example, "enchilazanya" when enchilada (Mexican corn tortilla with spicy seasoning) interfere with the lasagna.

Enable astronauts themselves to cook - it means to give them independence and autonomy in action.

Autonomy - a very important thing for future space missions. Now almost all the time the astronauts are in communication with flight control center on Earth, and their whole day is scheduled at 5-minute intervals. But in the long expeditions this will not happen because of the delay signal. Moreover, if you want people to not have gone mad during, say, a three-year mission to Mars, it is impossible to monitor every minute of their lives.

As progress the food for astronauts

According to the scientists, the technology can allow to make your stay on Mars is almost the same as life on Earth. In general, the settlement will remind research stations in the polar regions, but it is important that they had a normal room.

If someone thinks that the space food has become more and more high-tech, he is mistaken. On the contrary, food becomes more and more similar to the one we used to have in the world. And by and large, all that people need in space - it's normal food.