Product Number: EG-2011-08-00005-SSC
Since the first days of the Mercury Program in the early 1960s, NASA scientists have sought to keep astronauts in space for longer and longer periods of time. Some of the most important problems of early human spaceflight were some of the most basic to human life: What could we eat and drink in space? And how would the body react to food in microgravity?
Twenty-first century space food has come a long way since the early years of the U.S. space program, and it now includes a wide variety of items in many different forms.
Yet today, among the thousands of questions that need to be answered before astronauts travel to distant planets and asteroids, are questions related to the astronauts themselves. How much food will they need and what foods can they take? We are fortunate on Earth to have an amazing variety of foods to eat. When astronauts go to Mars and other destinations, their mission crews may be international; carrying food the entire crew likes will be a real challenge.
This site includes educational activities designed to get students engaged in learning about space food and human spaceflight. It also contains videos and links intended to encourage further exploration. Finally, there is a fact-filled "Space Food Hall of Fame" where visitors can read about some of the most famous and noteworthy space foods, and even vote for their favorites.
+ Food for Thought Curriculum Guide (6.6 mb)
- Research the caloric content and nutritional value of space foods.
- Construct sample space food menus.
- Design a robot capable of handling foods.
- Sample surfaces for microbial contamination.
- Investigate adhesion, cohesion, contact angle and capillary action in liquids.
- Design and test a microgravity cup.
- Create a space cookie recipe and bake it for taste testing.
|One Cup of Coffee to Go!|
Using a piece of transparent plastic and some tape, STS-126 Mission Specialist Don Pettit builds a coffee cup that works in a weightless environment. (See the video at the bottom of page: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/video/shuttle/sts-126/html/fd10.html.)
|Eating and Nutrition on Board the ISS|
|NASA Launchpad: Food for Thought|