30 November 2009

Where's The Nearest McDonalds?

Astronauts don't have the option of grabbing something to eat while in outer space. Their food has always been of concern. One of the favorite foods of the astronauts is "mac and cheese" stored in a shrink-wrapped brick. According to NASA, this is the comfort food they crave most. But when they blast off for Mars in 2030, this won't be available as the see-through package traps moisture and oxygen so it would spoil before eaten.

The manager of NASA's advanced food technology says this is one of the issues she and her staff of 15 have to consider when they make up menus for missions.. The menu needs to be light and nutritious, tasty and durable enough to withstand the years-long mission to Mars.

Missions of that length have enough food for 6,759 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks (enough food to feed 6 people for more than 3 years). Each person is allowed 3.2 pounds of food per day with each dish needing a five year shelf life.

As space missions got longer over the years, NASA moved away from the toothpaste like containers that held vegetable purees. Meals began to resemble real food: dehydrated sausage patties, fruit cocktail and spaghetti with meat sauce.

Today, food on missions includes freeze-dried shrimp, beef fajitas and cherry-blueberry cobbler.

Source: Los Angeles Times