You probably know them too: images of floating astronauts who try to throw food but which -surprisingly- fail due to the lack of gravity. The question remains: what do astronauts eat? And is that even a bit to eat?
We did some research for you and found out some very interesting facts.
First of all: astronauts should of course go into space in top condition. It is therefore not surprising that they have a team of nutritionists around them. This team ensures a balanced diet with enough vitamins and minerals. Which in practice means: breakfast, lunch and dinner. This consists of, completely in line with the fellow man on earth, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, nuts, water, tea, coffee and so on.
Before you worry about whether there’s anything to snack on, yes. Chocolate, lemonade, candy, biscuits: space life doesn’t seem so bad from a culinary point of view. And it has also improved considerably over the years .
Although the offer is not as great as on land; there is something to choose from. What astronauts eat, they can largely select themselves.
Cooking in space
Due to the weightlessness, an average refrigerator model does not work in space. There is, however, a special oven to heat up your dish. The stock is therefore kept at room temperature: that means a lot of preserved products. Products are therefore freeze-dried or thermostabilized. In short: it stops the multiplication of bacteria.
There are items that are in stock in ‘natural’ form, but also that astronauts have to add water to. Incidentally, pepper and salt are included in liquid form. “Sprinkling” salt and pepper could clog important air supplies. Or how about pepper in your eyes? Bread is also not done because of flying crumbs.
Food and drink comes in disposable packaging. And not just the plastic we find here in the supermarket. Space food packaging is often designed to be flexible and convenient to use. This prevents the filling from flying out and takes up as little space as possible after use.
We also eat preserved foods. This way you can cook deliciously with canned fish . Or fill your pantry by fermenting .
And are you curious about what space food really tastes like? In the video below you can see the reactions of the most honest – and critical – foodies to the food of astronauts: children.