Tuesday, July 17, 2012

NASA Working On Menu For 2030 Mars Mission

I've been fascinated, if only occasionally inspired, by manned space exploration for my entire life. But even I'd probably be having an existential and career crisis if I found myself working full-time today as part of NASA's Advanced Food Technology Project to develop the menu for its hoped-for manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.

You can read more in The Christian Science Monitor HERE, including a photo (and embedded video) of Lockheed Martin Sr. Research Scientist Maya Cooper taste testing 'space pizza.' This article contains some interesting revelations, including:
  • "astronauts make up a panel that tastes the food and gives it a final OK on Earth before it blasts off"
  • "Already, Cooper's team of three has come up with about 100 recipes, all vegetarian because the astronauts will not have dairy or meat products available. It isn't possible to preserve those products long enough to take to Mars."
  • "Cooper says it's possible NASA will choose to have one astronaut solely dedicated to preparing the food." (Another potential existential and career crisis in the making.)
  •  "At the moment, Michele Perchonok, advanced food technology project scientist at NASA, said about $1 million on average is spent annually on researching and building the Mars menu. NASA's overall budget in 2012 is more than $17 billion."

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