Discover this amazing evolution of meals in space

Discover this amazing evolution of meals in space

In the impressive history of space exploration, an aspect that is often overlooked is the evolution of the astronauts' diet. From the paste that Yuri Gagarin consumed on the first manned space mission, to the pizza that can now be enjoyed aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the history of meals in space is a fascinating journey of culinary invention.

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Early innovations in space energy

The early days of space foods were characterized by their usefulness, not their taste. In 1961, when the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, orbited Earth, his menu ushered in an era of food served in toothpaste-like tubes. The menu featured harissa meat and chocolate sauce, a sign of the ingenuity needed to overcome the nutritional challenges of microgravity.

These food tubes were quickly improved due to their notable limitations. In fact, they made it impossible to smell and see food, and the variety of foods they could contain was limited. Therefore, in 1962, freeze-dried foods and high-calorie food cubes were introduced. However, this innovation created new problems: the powders had to be rehydrated, and the cubes, for their part, were at risk of collapsing and causing damage to space equipment.

Spoon: A big step for space food

Sometimes it takes a little to change a lot. The introduction of the spoon during the Apollo 8 mission in 1969 marked a turning point in the history of space food. With this simple yet effective tool, eating has become less of a challenge and more of an experience to enjoy. It also made it possible to drink espresso, thanks to a cup specially designed for microgravity, providing astronauts with a semblance of a familiar routine in a very strange environment.

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Taste evolves: space meals become delicious

While ensuring adequate caloric intake for astronauts was the original priority, the development of meals in space has led to increased interest in food flavor. In order to meet the astronauts' taste expectations and maintain their morale, it was necessary to create foods that were not only nutritious, but also delicious. Furthermore, the researchers had to face another challenge: in microgravity, body fluids tend to move toward the head, giving the impression of eating while cold. This led to the necessary modifications in the flavor and seasoning of foods.

Today, astronauts aboard the International Space Station have a more diverse choice of dishes available to them, and can even customize their menus. From fruit salad to spaghetti, the food offer on board is richer and more diverse than ever before.

What future does space power have?

The future of food in microgravity may be even more exciting. Experiments are being conducted to test the possibility of frying foods, which has been proven that they can be fried using the appropriate equipment. The goal is to bring the power source aboard the International Space Station closer to that on Earth, thus creating an additional link between astronauts and their home planet.

As we cross the threshold into the era of large-scale human space exploration, how will the Space Force continue to evolve to meet the needs of farther and longer missions?

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