Excerpts taken from NASA Facts-Space Food,
NASA Human Spaceflight Space Facts, NASA FTCSC bookmarks, and
NASA FTCSC Space Food Insights by Dr. Charles Bourland, and
1.a) Eating utensils were first used during
the Apollo 8 mission to the moon on December 1968. Before that,
food and beverages were either consumed through a straw or tube
or were eaten by hand.
2. b) The top five foods that astronauts
most often request in space are: 1. Shrimp cocktail, 2. lemonade,
3. steak, 4. M&M's, and 5. brownies.
3. b) On February 20, 1962, John Glenn ate
applesauce from an aluminum tube and chewed on several small
malted milk tablets, making him the first U.S. astronaut to
eat in space.
4. c) All space food items come in disposable
packaging, so astronauts do not need to wash any dishes except
their utensils. They are simply wiped clean with a sanitizing
5. c) In 1981, M&M chocolate candies
were chosen for the first time by the space shuttle astronauts
for inclusion in their food supply.
6. True. Unlike previous space vehicles,
Skylab featured a large interior with a dining room and table.
Footholds allowed astronauts to "sit" at the table
to eat. Skylab also had space for a freezer and refrigerator,
which no other vehicle has offered before or since.
7. True. Weight can be conserved during
launch by removing water from food. During flight, water generated
by shuttle fuel cells is added back to the food before it is
8. d) Meals in the lunar module during Apollo
11 included Meal A- bacon squares, peaches, sugar cookie cubes,
coffee, pineapple-grapefruit drink; and Meal B-beef stew, cream
of chicken soup, date fruitcake, grape punch, and orange drink.
Meal A was the first food scheduled to be eaten on the Moon.
9. b) Foods for a trip to Mars will need
a minimum shelf life of three to five years. This is because
a mission to Mars could last up to three years; including a
six to eight month transit to Mars, an 18-month stay, and another
six to eight months transit home.
10. True. Water temperature available for
food preparation is different on Station than Shuttle. The space
shuttle has chilled water. On the ISS there is no chilled water,
crewmembers have only ambient, warm, and hot water available.
11. b) During a Gemini 3 flight, John Young
presented Virgil (Gus) Grissom with a corned-beef sandwich he
smuggled on board as a practical joke.
12. False. The bubbles of carbon dioxide
in carbonated beverages aren't buoyant in a weightless environment
so they remain randomly distributed throughout the fluid even
after swallowing and can become a foamy mess during space travel.
Experiments have been conducted using special microgravity dispensers
for soda, but as yet they have not been perfected. Even if a
microgravity dispenser is perfected, there is no guarantee that
carbonated beverages will be used in space. In space, with the
absence of microgravity, the carbon dioxide bubbles in carbonated
beverages go through an astronaut's digestive system, rather
than being belched out as on Earth, and may cause adverse side
13) False. Food prepared for the ISS needs
to be able to stay stable at room temperature for nine to 12
months because there is no refrigerator or freezer available.
A refrigerator would take a good deal of power to run. Instead
of using microwave ovens, food is heated in a forced-air convection
oven for 20 minutes prior to eating.
14. c) Astronauts on the ISS follow the
Russian schedule of eating three meals and one snack per day.
15. c) Astronauts have reported changes
that vary from food not tasting the same on orbit to a complete
dislike for a previously liked food or beverage. This is attributed
to physiological alterations that occur in microgravity.
16. False. The U.S. and Russia each provide
half of the food supplied for the ISS. Items from each country
arrive at the station on separate pallets and are stored inside
the same cabinet located in the Zvesda module. The Russian Space
Agency primarily uses cans to preserve its food while NASA uses
flexible foil packaging.
17. a) Skylab beverage containers looked
similar to a plastic accordion.
18. False. Astronauts enjoy eating tortillas
and find them a practical solution to a potentially messy situation.
Crumbs, a byproduct of bread, can be inhaled, clog filtration
systems, or jam delicate equipment in a closed, microgravity
environment. Tortillas are practically crumb-free.
19. a) During a mission an astronaut consumes
approximately 3 pounds of food per day. Because of this, an
astronaut would need more than three thousand pounds of food
for a three-year Mission to Mars.
20. False. Fresh foods have been in demand
since early Shuttle days. They were first used on STS-6 in April
1983. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded on the spacecraft
16 to 24 hours prior to launch and on-orbit shelf life is two
to three days for most items because there is no refrigerator.
Fresh foods are also brought on Shuttle or Progress resupply
flights at planned 90-day intervals.
21. c) The initial six day cycle menu used
on Expedition 1 was too short to give sufficient variety. Beginning
with Expedition 2, the menu cycle was expanded to eight days.
The menu cycle was later increased to 10 days beginning with
22. True. Freeze-dried foods are ideal for
space travel because they are light weight, do not need refrigeration,
and are contained in flexible packages that aid in trash compacting.
23. c) Because of limited space, Pettit
chose only three Russian-made long-handled eating spoons as
his precious cargo back to Earth.
24. False. Astronauts taste-test food prior
to their launch and choose which foods they would like to eat
on their flight.
25. False. Astronauts usually lose weight
during space missions. Nutritionists carefully watch to ensure
that they eat enough calories and receive necessary nutrients,
vitamins, and minerals.
26. c) Because each food item comes in a
separate package, scissors are the most important utensil required
for eating in microgravity.
27. False. In the mid 1960s U.S. Army Natick
Laboratories developed freeze-dried ice cream. The freeze-dried
ice cream developed for space was not exactly what is sold today.
To produce freeze-dried ice cream for space, a mixture of coconut
fat,milk solids, and sugar was homogenized, frozen, then freeze-dried,
ground and compressed into cubes under high pressure. The cubes
were then coated with an edible gelatin coating to prevent crumbs.
The product sold today is ice cream that has been cut into cubes
and freeze-dried. Freeze-dried ice cream was taken into space
only one time, in 1968 on Apollo 7 when astronauts Wally Schirra,
Don Eisele, and Walter Cunningham tested the Earth orbit of
the Apollo Command Module in preparation for the Moon Landing.
Records are not available, but most of the product must have
been returned, since this is the only time freeze-dried ice
cream was used in space.
28. b) Expedition Two's Yury Usachev was
unpacking food from a Progress resupply ship when he found some
onions that had sprouted. He wrapped them in wet rags and sealed
them in plastic bags until they were about a foot long. The
plants bore onions which the crew harvested and enjoyed.
Regina Hendrickson firstname.lastname@example.org