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Food…IN SPACE

Image taken in the Food Tasting lab in bldg 17: Bags of Space Station food and utensils on tray.

Image taken in the Food Tasting lab in bldg 17: Bags of Space Station food and utensils on tray.

If you pay any attention to us at all, you know that we love Science. And there’s nothing more Sciency than space travel. Which brings me to these two fascinating stories on the Discovery Channel website: The Top 10 Worst Space Foods and The Top 10 Best Space Foods. There is nothing that is not interesting in these pieces, especially because you can figure out whether or not you are living an orbital lifestyle here on Earth. Or let’s say for example you were planning a space-themed wedding. Now you know what to serve!  (It’s not too late, Chelsea!) Here’s highlights:

Graham Crackers: Bad in Space They hold together well in microgravity, but the crumbs fly about and you breathe them in. (Plus, dry mouth, amirite, astronauts?) The NASA folks tried shaving down the sides to make it work, but even the best minds in the world couldn’t get graham crackers to work. Since I thought graham cracker-eating adults like myself were a small minority of the world’s population I am heartened to read that interstellar travelers also enjoy them, if only on Earth.

M & Ms: Good in Space This is hardly breaking news because M & Ms, along with french fries and burritos, are among natures most perfect foods, but still good to know.

Carbonation: Bad in Space Turns out that burping while in orbit is kind of a downer. This is troubling, because other than coffee, both Meatball and I drink carbonated beverages almost exclusively (seltzer, kombucha, and champagne derivatives being our mainstays). However, I can buy into bubbles as a terrestrial phenomenon, because if you think about it, they are like drinking space, and why would you do that in space?

There’s more–including the story of astronaut John Young smuggling a corned beef sandwich onto the Gemini III mission. Actual dialogue:

Grissom: What is it?

Young: Corn beef sandwich.

Grissom: Where did that come from?

Young: I brought it with me. Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it?

Grissom: Yes, it’s breaking up. I’m going to stick it in my pocket.

Young: Is it?

Young: It was a thought, anyway.

Grissom: Yep.

Young: Not a very good one.

Grissom: Pretty good, though, if it would just hold together.

Young: Want some chicken leg?

Grissom: No, you can handle that.

Grissom: What was the time of that booster again? What elevation?

THEY COULD SMELL THINGS? This opens up so many questions that I may never sleep again, not to mention the fact that there is an entire Space Food section on NASA.gov.  Where’s that movie, Tom Hanks?

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  • Meatball

    I want a space corned beef sandwich!


    • Snacktime

      HOW CAN THEY SMELL THINGS? Even if their helmets were off, wouldn’t the smell molecules be all dispersed and floating around? If you can’t burp, I would think you cant smell. SCIENCE.

  • Space Food Sticks?! Anyone else remember the fudgy wonder of a Space Food Stick. My grandmother was such a terrible cook, and gave us food poisoning so often, that we tried only to eat foods at her house that came sealed. Space Food Sticks saw me through a couple of childhood summers. Also Ho Hos and Ding Dongs.