If you have ever thought that astronauts only eat dry and frozen foods, you are mistaken. These types of space foods are no longer served in space. Space food has evolved rapidly throughout the fifty-year history of human astronautics and has become more and more like the ordinary food you eat.
It may not be impossible to find a person on Earth who has more information about space cuisine than Charles T. Borland. He knows very well what astronauts have eaten for the past 40 to 50 years and how they did it.
Together with a colleague in the Space Kitchen of the Johnson Center, he recently published a book called “Astronauts’Cookbook.” In addition to familiarizing ordinary people with the most important part of an astronaut’s life, i.e. eating in weightlessness, they hope to be able to add new flavors of space beyond the atmosphere to the aquifers of terrestrial families, in addition to learning the instructions and methods of cooking space dishes with the history and stages of improving the taste and quality of these foods.
You may find it interesting to know that about 500 dollars must be spent to carry each kilo of cargo into space. Now imagine how much each meal that astronauts spend on the International Space Station ends, taking into account the weight of the food, water, containers and containers used. Surely the bill for such a restaurant, which is also a dream, will break the record for withdrawing money from your bank account.
That’s why astronauts from the Gemini and Apollo projects used dry, frozen foods. Their space capsules used fuel cell to produce electricity. Water, as a byproduct of fuel cells that produce electricity by combining oxygen and hydrogen, was abundantly available in those space carriers (though not in abundance!). So astronauts could eat a not-so-pleasant meal while mixing hot water and dried food. These space foods were not so much about the desire of the astronauts, and after a few days, they were disgusted with the taste and shape of these foods. But well, it was better than to starve
But today, the electricity needed by the International Space Station and most automated spacecraft is supplied by solar panels. That’s why there’s no point in sending astronauts dry and frozen (and, of course, tasteless) foods. Today, a variety of pasteurized and packaged space foods are sent into space so that astronauts can experience more pleasure while eating. Astronauts are also more satisfied with the taste and shape of these foods. These Space Foods are pasteurized with appropriate heat before being sent into space to eliminate all microbes, active enzymes, and possible bacteria and to be able to store food for a long time.
Today, there are no more dried meat tubes that should be mixed with boiling water obtained from a fuel cell and sucked with caution. Especially those dried cubes containing everything that gave the old astronauts energy, vitamins, and protein are not on the food cargo list, and the astronauts are extremely happy about that.
Today’s space foods include a variety of ready-to-eat, packaged and sterilized foods, dried fruits, nuts, and a variety of sweets. Occasionally fresh fruit enters the Earth’s orbit, but it must be eaten in a short time, because if it rots, all the money spent on sending it into space is wasted (remember how much had to be spent to send each kilogram of cargo into space?).
Early astronauts ate little. NASA chefs have long speculated that these shortcomings are due to astronauts’ skepticism about the quality and taste of their cooks. Of course, this view was somewhat correct, but the main problem was the primitive toilets that were installed on spacecraft such as Apollo and Gemini at that time. Of course, it is not at all pleasant for an astronaut to spend his not-so-delicious breakfast in an odor-filled atmosphere caused by his colleague using the toilet.
This is why astronauts at that time preferred to eat very little and only enough food so that they would not be weakened by hunger and be able to perform their assigned tasks.
Today, with the installation of more advanced toilets in spacecraft and space stations, the situation is much better, but astronauts still consume half of what they have to eat, and this is mostly due to the large amount of work they have to do in space.
Good Space food, in addition to having a great impact on the astronauts’ physical health and giving them the energy and strength they need to perform their assigned tasks, is also very effective in their mood . For an astronaut who is going to spend months on a small space station, eating with colleagues should definitely be a fun pastime, not a chore.
If you plan to travel to space! Astronaut’s cookbook has tips for you to enjoy eating in space more. Avoid fizzy drinks. The gas in these beverages, in the conditions governing your space accommodation, bubbles and randomly disperses in the beverage solution. By opening the lid of the can, these bubbles, along with the soda liquid, will spread into the small space of your spaceship cabin and cause trouble.
It is also not recommended to have powdered foods or condiments. Fine powder can be easily dispersed in the air and interfere with the production of sensitive equipment inside the cabin. That is why astronauts have to travel to space with salt dissolved in water and pepper dissolved in oil.
Foods that can be crushed, such as chips or cookies, can also be a nuisance. Bake space biscuits and cookies so small that the astronaut can put them in his mouth all at once. Astronauts usually use tortillas (a type of Mexican cornbread) that is baked small enough instead of bread.
Do not take fresh oranges and bananas with you. These fruits produce a special smell, especially when consumed. Astronauts are nauseous due to weightlessness when astronauts orbit the Earth. The smell of fresh oranges and bananas can aggravate this condition and make their physical condition worse.
However, you have noticed that cooking in space is not an easy task at all. Today, space chefs, relying on about fifty years of experience, are able to offer you pleasant and attractive menus in space. But it should not be overlooked that to reach this point of culinary knowledge in space, many poor astronauts have been forced to suck on crushed boiled fish or minced meat from their plastic tube.