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Space Food – What Do Astronauts Eat

What do astronauts eat in space, and how do they manage to eat food at all is the question?

Its actually quite difficult for an astronaut to eat a meal in space.

What is true is that it is not exactly fine dining and the food doesn’t come served on a table, that is for sure.

The above picture is dinner basically! All foods that are brought to space are required to be ‘freeze dried’, which means its air tight to preserve the food. Yes the food has to be packed in specific conditions to preserve the food for long periods of time.

 

Space food needs to be easily sorted and easily consumed. (consumed means the food is eaten and disposed)

The typical types of food that astronauts eat on space missions and up in the ISS (international space station) are:

  • Specially packed fruits and vegetables.
  • Specially packed salad.
  • Specially processed meats.
  • Specially processed fish.
  • Specially processed Beef Jerky.
  • Specially processed Spaghetti.
  • Specially processed Soups.
  • Specially processed Curds.
  • Specially packed savory’s and sweets.
  • Various liquid drinks including tea and coffee.
  • Other specially processed foods based on the countries cuisine.

Its a difficult process to make and prepare food for space, more difficult than you may think. The right conditions are needed to make the food fit for space. The food actually needs to be engineered for a zero gravity environment.

 

And while the food needs to be made right, it also needs to be packaged right. Food is made to be packed light weight and easily disposable. Food can also be packed in cans and tubes. (see picture below)

 

Space food has changed and has come along way in terms of taste improvement and how its packed since the first space flights. Better technologies have improved the dining experience for our great astronauts.  

Eating the food is challenge also due to having no gravity. There are specialty trays, plates and utensils that are magnetized, so that they do not fly away.

There is also believe it or not an on-going NASA project

NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Project  

For more information on the project and the history of space food go to the link below or click on the video below.

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_Food_for_Space_Flight.html

 

Kids Fun Facts Corner

# 1. Most foods in space are required to be rehydrated.

# 2. Fizzy drinks are not allowed in space as they are dangerous.

# 3. The first food that was eaten in space was meat pate.

 

Q&A Corner

Q. How is food prepared for space? 

Q. How is space food engineered?

Q. What is the name of the project to further develop food for space?

Q. What was the first food that was eaten in space?

Q. Name some of the foods eaten in space?

Download questions about space food here: space food (answers are on this page)

For further reading and more information on space food visit www.eas.int/space food

  Key Vocabulary Space. Food. Freeze Dried. Preserve. Missions. Zero Gravity. Magnetized. Technology. Project.