1. When space travel was first explored, the poor astronauts who went into space had to have all their food puréed and eaten out of toothpaste-like tubes! In fact, the first ‘meal’ ever eaten in by an American in space was apple sauce squeezed out of a tube! Yum.
2. Astronaut’s bones become weaker in space due to not having to work so hard in zero-gravity. As a result, all the food they eat needs to contain plenty of calcium and vitamin D to keep the astronauts healthy and happy.
3. Space food has come on leaps and bounds in the last 50 years, and is now almost as good quality as some of the food you’ll find on earth – despite being vacuum packed! One of the highlights of space food for us is Space Ice cream, which has been specially developed to satisfy the astronauts’ sweet tooths! This special ice cream doesn’t need to be frozen, but melts in your mouth just like the real thing.
4. Even though space food is better than ever right now, scientists expect that in the future we’ll be able to grow our own food for space missions, in specially crafted greenhouses in the space station itself! The team have already tested growing plants in space and anticipate that crops like cabbage, lettuce, rice and spinach will be one day grown in space.
5. Some of the techniques used to preserve and create delicious food for space travel have since been used for food here on Earth. Freeze-dried fruit such as strawberries and raspberries are now used to op cereals as they’re long lasting and tasty!
6. Scientists have not only had to develop special food for the space missions, they’ve had to develop special ways to eat it too! Since the 70’s, astronauts have no longer needed to eat out of tubes as NASA have developed a special tray for heating up food and another for eating off. The eating tray involves a complicated series of Velcro to keep all the contents of the astronauts’ dinners on their plates!
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