Remember astronaut ice cream? You know, that freeze-dried stuff that came in a little foil pouch you probably tried as a kid…?
Fortunately the astronaut fare of today is nothing like that! Their food is no longer squeezed out of tubes or freeze-dried packages.
And if NASA’s Advanced Food Technology (AFT) project is successful, the crew of the 2030 Mars mission may even have fresh fruits and vegetables and live plants!
Unlike previous missions where a lack of gravity has impaired taste and smell and hindered food preparation, on Mars, the astronauts will be able to chop vegetables, cook, and even grow a few plants in a hydroponic solution.
So far the research team has already developed about 100 recipes, all vegan, because it is not feasible to preserve meat and dairy projects long enough for the trip.
The ship will need to pack enough food to feed a crew of six to eight astronauts for up to three years. Senior research scientist Maya Cooper was quoted: “Mars is different just because it’s so far away. We don’t have the option to send a vehicle every six months and send more food as we do for the international space station.”
To see the research team in action, check out this WSJ slideshow showing the scientists “stirring, mixing, measuring, brushing and tasting with one mission: Build a menu for a planned journey to Mars in the 2030s.”
Also check out the video below showing the team hard at work in the lab kitchen!
Image Credit: WSJ