Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Orbital Thanksgiving: Special Recipes Give Space Station Crew A Taste Of Home

Date:
November 26, 2003
Source:
NASA/Johnson Space Center
Summary:
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are preparing for the fourth holiday season on the zero gravity research laboratory. Although the food is not mom's home cooking, today's selections are a huge advance over the "tubes and cubes" of the first meals in orbit more than 40 years ago.

There is a place where, no matter what you eat during the holidays, you'll never gain any weight.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are preparing for the fourth holiday season on the zero gravity research laboratory. Although the food is not mom's home cooking, today's selections are a huge advance over the "tubes and cubes" of the first meals in orbit more than 40 years ago.

On the Station, the holiday table is set with bungee cords and Velcro. There's no heirloom china or tablecloth. Astronauts eat from disposable plastic containers and aluminum pouches. Instead of a carving knife, scissors are more important for meal preparation.

But the dining room view is unmatched, more than 200 miles above the Earth, and the spirit of peace and good will is as warm as at any gravity-bound table. The diners on the Station hold a record among holiday travelers, during the course of a meal, they circle the Earth.

Space and zero gravity offer challenges for food preparation. There is no refrigerator or freezer aboard the Station, so food must remain good for long periods at room temperature. Many offerings are freeze-dried. Others are thermostabilized, just like some foods found in grocery stores that do not require refrigeration. Some items are canned, others, like candy, nuts and cookies, are fine just the way they are on Earth.

The top Station chef is Food Scientist Vickie Kloeris. She has worked in space food systems at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for 18 years. Kloeris oversees the area that manages the production and supply of Space Station and Space Shuttle food.

"Station crews have more than 250 food and beverage items they can select from the U.S. and Russian food systems, but they have to make their selections as early as a year before their flight," Kloeris said. "The choices range from barbecued beef to baked tofu, with probably the most popular item being shrimp cocktail," she said.

Do tastes change in space? Kloeris said although there is no scientific data to verify changes, many astronauts report a preference for spicy and tart foods and drinks.

Weightlessness also affects the food choices aboard the orbiting laboratory. Crumbly or loose foods can float out and contaminate the Station atmosphere, becoming an annoyance or even a hazard to crews and equipment. Many entrees and vegetables are packaged in a thick sauce that helps hold them in a bowl while they are eaten. Tortillas are favored over sandwich bread, because they create fewer crumbs and are easier to handle in microgravity. They also stay fresh longer than sliced bread.

Stocking the Station cupboard is an international effort; half the food is from Russia and half from the United States. The U.S. food comes from a variety of sources. Some comes straight off the shelves with only repackaging needed. Other items are custom-manufactured for space. The combination of the two food systems increases the variety of foods available to Station crews.

Before the launch of the Space Station, when Space Shuttle flights stayed in orbit only about 18 days, the variety of food available was not as extensive. Variety has become much more important, since crews stay in space for up to six months. One of the more popular items eaten by Station crews is a variation on a children's favorite that can easily be tried at home:

SPACE PB&J WRAP

Ingredients:

1 Flour TortillaFavorite Peanut ButterFavorite Jelly

Directions:

Spread thin layer of peanut butter on tortilla. Add a thin layer of jelly.Fold and enjoy.

Information about space foods and additional recipes are on the Internet at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/living/spacefood/index.html

Information about the Space Station, including dates and times to see it above many U.S. cities during the holidays is on the Internet at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Johnson Space Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Johnson Space Center. "Orbital Thanksgiving: Special Recipes Give Space Station Crew A Taste Of Home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031125072148.htm>.
NASA/Johnson Space Center. (2003, November 26). Orbital Thanksgiving: Special Recipes Give Space Station Crew A Taste Of Home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031125072148.htm
NASA/Johnson Space Center. "Orbital Thanksgiving: Special Recipes Give Space Station Crew A Taste Of Home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031125072148.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Scientists say when the moon was young, it was deformed by the Earth's gravitational pull, which gave it a lemon-like shape. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins