What do you think astronauts eat while they are in outer space? You might be thinking it’s no rocket science; they might eat the same things as us. For a matter of fact, well, it is actually rocket science, and they can’t walk around eating a packet of chips in their hand. Because, there is no gravity up there, so the chips might start floating around in outer space. How about some coffee? Ah! No, that won’t work too, unless you want to drink a floating coffee! But, what do they eat while they are up there because, for weeks, months or years, one cannot survive without food.
And coming to that, the first idea to keep their belly full was to come up with some special packaging for their food. They actually used to squeeze the aluminium and toothpaste tubes in order to consume food. Can you believe it? Actually, this was long back in the year 1962, when John Glenn first went for the mission, Mercury.
With the advancement in the technological world and changing trends, thanks to the scientists for coming up with loads of ideas to make eating, a bit easier, tastier and better for the astronauts. Apart from this, they also had to keep in mind to make such foods that were nutrient-dense and provided the right vitamins and energy to them for their journey.
Read on to know about the brilliant ideas, they had come up with!
The Rehydrated foods or beverages are completely extracted out of their water content and that is why they are also known as super-dry foods. And, you won’t believe it but they have done this to foods like soups, casseroles, cocktails, beverages, and even macaroni, to prevent them from spoiling. Sounds unbelievable isn't it?
These are canned foods which are heated and processed before packing them in aluminium cans or bimetallic cans like tomatoes, eggplants and beef etc. They also consist of powdered beverages, by removing their water and preserving them. The heating process does not let any microorganisms to occur inside the packed foods.
Intermediate moisture foods:
These foods are not completely deprived of their water content but in fact just the right amount of moisture to retain their softness. The right water content does not lead to any micro bacterial growth and this way the food is edible for a longer time. Dried peaches, pears, or apricots are some of the intermediate moisture foods.
These foods are sterilized with ionized radiations and packed in foil-laminated containers to protect them from getting tainted. For now, the tried and tested irradiated mood is only beefsteak but we are sure there will be many more to add to the list very soon.
Natural Form foods:
They are actually the ready-to-eat foods packed in flexible pouches. Like energy bars, granola, nuts, cookies etc. are classified as the natural form foods, because they are consumed in their natural form without any processing or packaging.
So, if you are planning to be an astronaut, now you know that you are in for a tough ride. (Especially if you are a foodie). Because there aren’t any pizza pleasures in space! But, we are sure, like the talented souls have come up with these food ideas; they are soon going to make some great food available too!
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.