'space' on Serious Eats

Christmas Dinner on the International Space Station

[Photograph: NASA.gov] What the astronauts eat as they watch Santa make his rounds: Q: Do you take requests from the astronauts? For holidays, or just in general?A: We can. For every month that the crewmember is in orbit they get what's called a bonus container and they can make special requests, if they have a special candy or cracker or cookie they want to take. But our standard menu includes a lot of traditional holiday foods. Smoked turkey, candied yams, green beans, freeze dried cornbread dressing. The Russian side has really good mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. So there are foods available for them to make a holiday menu, and if they know they're going to be in orbit... More

The Mission to Mars Menu: 20,000 Meals with a Five-Year Shelf Life

Photograph from AFP/Getty Images Since astronauts can probably only stomach so much of that freeze-dried ice cream from museum gift shops, a team of food lab scientists is plotting the menu for a three-year mission to Mars slated to blast off sometime after 2030. The food needs to be light enough, nutritious enough, tasty enough, and durable enough to withstand the journey to the Red Planet, according to the Los Angeles Times. Imagine having to pack more than 6,570 breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners all at once—enough meals to feed six people every day for more than three years. Imagine preparing all these meals with an allotment of 3.2 pounds of food per person per day, about one-third less... More

Serious Cheese: Cheese in Space

West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers The marketing geniuses behind CheddarVision.tv, the webcam that broadcasts a 24/7 feed of an aging wheel of English Farmhouse Cheddar, have outdone themselves with a publicity stunt that rivals some of the greatest achievements of mankind. Last week, the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers launched a weather balloon in space, to which was hitched a slice of 18-month old West Country Cheddar. Their plan? To "mark the 40th anniversary of the first man on the moon and the first space flight undertaken by a piece of cheese." The device had an onboard GPS which was supposed to help them track the flight path of the cheese, as well as a camera to take pictures while in... More

Quote of the Day: M&Ms in Space

"The first thing to know about space food, it is the ambiance, it is the environment, it is not the food. These candies [peanut M&Ms] come in a piece of plastic, we cut them open, and suddenly everyone starts behaving like fish in a fish tank. That is fun food." —John Grusfeld, astronaut... More

The Year That Was: Food in Space

OK, I promised you at the end of the previous Year That Was post that I'd do something a bit more fun. Does this qualify? Outer space alone is vast, mysterious, and profound. But once humans start putting things in space, the concept goes from sublime to ridiculous at light speed. I mean, monkeys? Pigs? Food? Yes, food. In 2008, space got spicy with kimchi. A new ringed object was spotted when bagels went up on a Space Shuttle mission. We found out that outer space smells like steak. And the Japanese made space beer. And, oh yeah, this weird space food sticks video made the rounds on all the blogs. Yes, food brings space absurdity to a new level.... More

Space Beer Has Landed

Sure, add more hops and make extreme beer Dogfish Head brewery. But, can you beat space beer. Yeah, I didn't think so. The Japanese constantly amaze me with their cute, weird, or just plain awesome inventions. Though this time, it wasn't just the Japanese. The 100 percent barley beer, called "Space Barley," was grown in a Russian laboratory on an International Space Station. The resulting beer was a collaboration of the Russian Academy of Science, Okayama University in Japan and Sapporo Breweries. Japan Times reported: The beer will not be sold to the public, but the knowledge gained will be used for space science projects and educational programs for children, Sapporo said. Barley can be cultivated in outer space... More

Outer Space Smells Like Fried Steak

"Houston, there appears to be a steak-laden alien vessel in low earth orbit, and it's comin' in hot." To help train astronauts, NASA has hired a chemist, Steven Pearce, to recreate the smells of space. Astronauts interviewed after spacewalks reported smelling peculiar odors on their suits and helmets. Pearce: "For them, what comes across is a smell of fried steak, hot metal, and even welding a motorbike, one of them said." [via The Presurfer] Related: Historic Shuttle Mission Sends First Bagels into Space... More

In Videos: Celebrating July Fourth on 'Star Trek'

Have an out-of-this-world Fourth of July with the help of your favorite spacefaring crew of the original Star Trek series. Knock back some space beers and rock out with this catchy song about how the Enterprise celebrates the holiday: "We've got space burgers and fries all over the place / Independence Day is even more fun in space." It may not make much sense, but who cares when you have space burgers? Watch the video after the jump.... More

Historic Shuttle Mission Sends First Bagels into Space

"Lay in a course for Bagelgeuse, Mr. Data." Looks like they took bagels into space when the Space Shuttle Discovery launched last week. Montreal-born astronaut Greg Chamitoff insisted on bringing 18 sesame seed bagels into orbit with him. The bagels are from Fairmount Bagel in Montreal. 74 Fairmount West, Montreal QC H2T 2M2 (map); fairmountbagel.com [via The Big Picture]... More

Foodies In Space

Astronaut Sunita Williams was making sushi aboard the International Space Station when she squirted wasabi out of a tube—it started floating around everywhere and hitting the walls. Oops! The wasabi was part of her bonus container, a personalized package of favorite foods given to astronauts to help make the months they spend in zero gravity with mostly MRE-type food more bearable: Williams, whose father was born in India, has several Indian dishes in her bonus container, including Punjabi kadhi with pakora — vegetable fritters topped with yogurt and curry — and mutter paneer, a curry dish. The dishes are packaged to have a long shelf life in space.Her U.S. crew mate, astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, is an even bigger "foodie." Lopez-Alegria,... More

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