Food for astronauts has made some big changes over the years. The space program has gone from prepared food in aluminum tubes, that had to be sucked through a straw, to freeze-dried, and even refrigerated foods. Today, astronauts can enjoy some of their favorite meals from home, including treats like cookies and brownies! Now, the preparation methods might be a bit different for some meals, but when it comes to advancements in taste and quality, let’s just say space travelers today are probably a lot more satisfied than those who were on some of the initial missions.
Even though these changes and advancements have been made, most people still have a very vivid idea of what ‘astronaut food’ actually is today. And, in some cases, they’re not that far off. If you picture an astronaut eating food through a package that looks a little bit like a toothpaste tube, you’d be right. Many astronauts still get their food that way.
Why? Well, for one, it’s extremely efficient. Astronauts are up in space to work on a mission, and sitting down to a gourmet meal isn’t always a luxury of time they have. Eating can become more of a hassle than an enjoyment when you have to worry about utensils, or the food itself, starting to float away. If something is difficult to eat, it takes away from the experience, and wastes time. Food for astronauts needs to be efficient, nutritious, and at least somewhat enjoyable to their tastebuds in order to ‘pass the test.’
So, whether it’s freeze dried prepared foods that need to be rehydrated, fresh refrigerated products that need to be heated up, or good old fashioned meals in a tube, whatever you visualize when you think of food for astronauts just may be the ‘right’ one. Which of those options do you typically think of, when you consider what astronauts eat? Which would you most like to try for yourself?
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