Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now

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82

Brandy was sent along with Apollo 8’s Christmas dinner -- a 2-oz airline bottle each -- but mission commander Borman, out of an abundance of caution, ordered his crew not to partake. Jim Lovell sold his Apollo 8 brandy ration at auction ten years ago. Buzz Aldrin took a sip of wine for communion on the surface of the moon during Apollo 11. Russian crews ...


52

At least in the Shuttle program, I'm afraid the list of forbidden foods was almost infinitely long. Anything not officially tested and approved was forbidden. From the Space Shuttle Food System Summary (only covers the first 25 flights) here's the menu you got to choose from. Don't worry, it's only a couple of weeks at most. From eating this stuff in ...


37

Yes, a simple Google query returns a few astronauts who were or are vegetarians: Kalpana Chawla was a strict vegetarian and spent a total of 31 days in space. TJ Creamer - 163 days Dr Janice Voss - 49 days. From the answer to my previous question that you linked: In the shuttle and post-shuttle era, with actual toilets available, astronauts have more ...


36

There are in fact many foods astronauts are not allowed to eat. I'll be specifically talking about the ISS as they are the only ones currently in space. Bread: Astronauts are not allowed to eat bread because their crumbs can go into machine and equipment, and into astronauts' eyes. Alcohol: Russians were allowed to drink small quantities of alcohol (such ...


23

The cake will "rise" for the same reasons it does in gravity (yeast or other agents releasing gases as a metabolic byproduct, when heated, or as a chemical process and reacting to other ingredients, given sufficient time and providing for other required conditions to activate the rising agent). The only problem is, it will "rise" equally in all directions in ...


19

On planet earth, food spoils for several reasons: Oxidation Dehydration Microorganisms Oxidation is a reaction with the oxygen in the atmosphere. You can witness this when you cut an apple in half and leave it. It will only take minutes until the cuts become brown. Oxidation is usually harmless, but often gives the food an unpleasant texture, look and/or ...


18

Like many dehydrated space foods, it's prepared by injecting hot water through a port in an otherwise sealed bag, manually mixing it by massaging the bag, and waiting a few minutes; the noodles are thinner than typical instant noodles so that moderately hot (instead of boiling) water can soften them. As for eating it without spilling, the secret seems to be ...


16

Yes they do. Here are some assorted quotes. From An Inside Look At How NASA Resupplies The International Space Station: ...the menu includes whole fruit... From How does NASA transport food to the International Space Station? How often do they do it?: The fresh food locker contains tortillas, fresh bread, breakfast rolls, and fresh fruits and ...


15

There have been several experiments with fish in space; as far as I can tell, all have used water rather than humid air as the habitat. While there is no definitive answer available as of 2013 (lack of empirical research), present research suggests fish cannot really live in space without water. It appears difficult to keep fish alive and healthy in a ...


14

EDIT: How about some photographic evidence? This is Pete Conrad, during suit-up for Apollo 12, having a sandwich stashed. From this Popular Science article it appears the whole Apollo 12 crew got sandwiches: After breakfast, the crew went to don their pressure suits. ... At one point, the technician assisting Conrad slipped a sandwich into his leg pocket,...


13

There's a bunch of videos online with a demo of drinking. Specifically for coffee you can watch that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk7LcugO3zg According to this post, he uses a special cup that has a specific shape and surface tension. During STS-126 last November, mission specialist Don Pettit devised a cup that took advantage of its special ...


13

In addition to the vegetarian and even vegan astronauts mentioned elsewhere, there soon may be more. In at least one of many possible scenarios for food on long flights, NASA astronauts on the proposed Mars mission for 2030 will be on vegan diets. The need for sustainable food options and preservability of the food is driving this choice.


12

Historically cups have not been used. For spaceflight, liquids have been stored in sealed bag-like containers and then drunk through a tube. These are somewhat similar to how many children's drinks are packaged and stored. This document shows some pictures of these sorts of containers and some food containers. As another answer has said, there have been ...


11

The "Nutrition and Human Spaceflight" section of NASA's Space Food factsheet has some good, basic information with links to specific research and studies. For example: The nutrients astronauts need in space are the same ones all people need, but the amounts of some differ. Astronauts need the same number of calories for energy during spaceflight as ...


11

The structure of lettuce is determined by a combination of genetics and environmental effects. What the growth of the lettuce on the ISS indicates is that gravity is negligible in terms of its effect on lettuce growth. Atmospheric pressure would have a more noticeable impact. The direction in which a plant grows (shoots up, roots down) is determined by ...


11

The effect of the void of space is not so much cold, rather it is an insulator. Though heat radiates away, there is no convection nor conduction. Many spacecraft take precautions not to overheat in space, very few spacecraft have a too-cold condition. Even the Spitzer space telescope has since warmed up since the coolant ran out. Additionally, the void of ...


11

So, after a lot of searching after what are the recommended daily intake in terms of nutrient requirements and other stuff, I used a couple of sources to make an average of what is actually needed, and starting from this extrapolated a need. Here are my basis per day, for the average astronaut (average between male and female need) with a moderate physical ...


11

Can the vacuum of space be used to sterilize equipment? Supposing that washing dishes and sterilizing medical equipment could be expensive to do in space, would a viable option be to expose dishes, scalpels, silverwear etc to the vacuum of space? Would the combination of "vacuum" and radiation from the sun be enough to kill enough of the bacteria and ...


11

I asked Oleg Kotov this exact question. He told me that alcohol went missing from some medical kit on the ISS and was most certainly consumed in space.


10

Several points come to mind: In most sci-fi there is gravity. At the moment we do not have a non-earth location where humans can go with gravity. If we have habitats on the Moon or Mars then there will be a degree of gravity and the situation can change. We have not yet constructed a vast spinning space station with artificial gravity as depicted in 2001 A ...


10

If the package on the right of the lower picture in the question was actually flown, it would have been heated in the Shuttle galley's "food warmer" / "oven". This is because it already contains water and does not need rehydration. Here is a description from the Shuttle Crew Operations Manual. The oven is divided into two principal compartments: an ...


10

Fuel requirements will probably dominate food and other consumables by an order of magnitude or more, so you can't save mass by shortening the trip. The exact tradeoff depends on the assumptions you make. I'm just going to consider the outbound leg of the flight. NASA's trajectory browser offers me two missions to Mars in the 2025-2035 timeframe: ...


9

In the ISS, you can find mould basically everywhere. Mould is quite a problem in space. Tiny bits of food that get away or are exhaled, plus all of the biomatter that humans lose (skin cells, etc) spread everywhere (thanks to zero gravity) and can go mouldy over time. There are lots of places in the ISS that are difficult to clean (e.g. the space inside and ...


8

Most foods cooked in space are not brought up to a complete boil because dealing with the steam would be an issue. Currently they inject hot water into vaccuum sealed pouches containing food. I would expect that instead of a zero G rice cooker, spaceX would send par-cooked rice or instant rice that only requires hot water to be added. Instant rice is pre-...


8

In addition to Brian's points (which are both correct), it's actually a misnomer that astronauts eat only dehydrated "space food". Modern food that is shipped to the ISS, for example, is actually quite good. It's still tricky to cook, but they get plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, among other things. From this TIME article: Today, the most elaborate ...


8

Looking at the information on what plants were taken in to space, it appears that the criteria include: Size: initially small plants were taken. This makes sense from a weight perspective Well studied: the list of plants aligns well with those studied extensively in universities. Again, this makes sense - it may be easier to identify odd growth in a well ...


8

As astronaut is always to choose the food of his/her own choice . They have a tasting period of 15 days to eat and choose what foods he/she likes to eat in space and the food choice has to meet the standard for rocket travel though. Of course there will be moderation by nutrition experts to ensure the astronaut is getting the recommended diet value of car/...


8

The potassium deficiency issues on the Apollo missions were at least to some degree due to exertion during the lunar EVAs. Despite the low gravity, the stiffness of pressurized spacesuits made what would otherwise be moderate activity more strenuous; the astronauts sweated off several pounds each according to Biomedical Results of Apollo: All Apollo ...


7

He was in the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) at the time! :)


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