In celebration of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft making it to Pluto, we thought it’d be perfect to give you the DL, thanks to thesavory.com and NASA, on how astronauts actually survive out there in space.
1. Astronauts eat the same food as we do on Earth.
You may think that these amazing people eat some sort of vitamin-infused, anti-gravity specialty food, but I’m here to tell you they eat mac and cheese, just like us college kids.
2. Processed, high sodium and sugary foods keep well in outer space.
But since these people are scientists who need to work at peak performance, NASA has said they’ve reduce their food’s sodium content by 40%.
3. All the food is kept in air-tight packaging.
The food is stored in what’s called retort packaging, which is a laminated foil container designed to hold up in high-temperatures during sterilization. It seems like a struggle to open and I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty tired of this after 3 days…
4. There are 203 different things on the menu.
A lot of thought went into this menu to ensure astronauts stay healthy and don’t waste too much time meal prepping. At least they have some variety up there.
5. All the food packages have Velcro on them.
I have a feeling it’d be pretty annoying if every time you went to take a bite of your food, it floated away from you. Three cheers for Velcro.
6. No cookies or bread are allowed on board.
If you’ve ever dreamed of going into space, say goodbye to cookies and bread. All the little crumbs that fall from these kinds of foods go into the spacecraft’s zero-gravity conditions and can get stuck in the little space buttons, which is a huge problemo.
7. Every 6 months, 9 “bonus containers” are sent to the spacecraft.
After spending half a year in orbit, supplies are sent to the astronauts. They get to choose from fresh produce, some of their favorite meals and, if they’re lucky, packaged treats from their families.
8. Astronauts don’t go through any special pre-dieting regimen before going to space.
There is no pre-flight diet that astronauts need to follow. All they have to do is stay healthy. That doesn’t sound too hard, right?
9. They take Vitamin D supplements.
These people may seem like superheroes, but the only supplement they take is Vitamin D. Since they’re not getting much sun and aren’t eating many fresh fruits or veggies, they’ve gotta stay healthy.
10. Russians astronauts are old school.
When it comes to space food, the Russians keep it the way they’ve always have. They store their goods in tins instead of the sleek retort packets like the Americans have.
11. Astronauts have a special place in their hearts, or mouths, for spicy food.
Up in space, people’s tongues don’t make enough saliva for their tastebuds to work as well as they would on Earth, that’s why astronauts love the strength of flavor that comes from spicy food. They can taste againnn.
12. Technology is allowing NASA to work on growing fresh fruit and veggies in space.
Even though work needs to be done in order for astronauts to grow food in space, it’s awesome to know that it’ll be happening sometime in the near future. Mama didn’t tell you to eat your greens for nothin’.
13. All packaging has instructions and ingredients written in both English and Russian.
Apparently food packaging isn’t partial to one country in the space race – everyone’s gotta eat. But on the realz, this comes from the days when the space station was internationally operated. These days it isn’t an essential practice, but it symbolizes unity.