The food on the ISS is not that bland, says the French astronaut; But how exactly is food packaged for space?


ISS astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who is the current space station commander, recently shared a video on Twitter of him presenting space food:

In the video, he introduces several of the foods that all ISS astronauts like him have access to while there. It certainly doesn’t sound appetizing to anyone on Earth, but Pesquet says it’s not that bad, reports Digital Trends.

In fact, even before Pesquet got on board, he even asked Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx to take them to space, so the ISS crew could enjoy delicious food during work and breaks.

(Photo: NASA via Getty Images)
IN SPACE – AUG 10: In this photo provided by NASA, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly (R) and Kjell Lindgren prepare their taste buds for the first taste of food grown, harvested and consumed in space on the International Space Station on August 10, 2015 in outer space. Growing food is a critical step on the road to Mars.

Marx, being the world-class chef that he is, has prepared the dishes to ensure that the health of the ISS astronauts will not be compromised. As such, he was very attentive to the fat, sugar, and salt content of food, further noting that the International Space Station astronauts are more or less like top athletes.

But it was not only Marx who had the pleasure of preparing healthy and delicious meals for the astronauts on the ISS. NASA is currently in a long-term partnership with another renowned chef, Alain Ducasse.

This is not the first time that space food served aboard the ISS has been in the spotlight. In June, astronauts Matthias Maurer and Thomas Marshburn also shared photos from an experiment featuring space food and how people like them eat compared to those on Earth.

Maurer posted the photos on Twitter, which featured images of him having blood drawn after eating space food to better allow scientists to see how the human body responds to space and microgravity as a whole:

Read also: NASA tries to find ways to reduce stress in plants grown in space

How exactly are ISS foods made?

The main concern of manufacturing food in space is preservation. Astronauts on the International Space Station don’t exactly have the luxury of just ordering food and having it delivered on a regular basis, because rocket flights don’t come cheap.

As such, the station is fully stocked with packaged foods to last a long time. According to the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum, several conservation methods included freeze drying during the early days of the Apollo missions. Freeze-drying is still a popular method of preserving food for ISS astronauts today.

Additionally, much of the food astronauts ate back then came from tubes filled with mashed meat and vegetables, which may have contributed to the idea that all space food is bland.

Modern methods of conservation are more advanced. As Pesquet stated in his Twitter video, alongside freeze-dried vegetables and meat, they also often get irradiated stuff like chocolate cakes. It sounds a little scary to say this, but in reality all they have to do is put a packet of irradiated food in a special oven or rehydrate it with cold or hot water and then they are ready to go.

In the future, however, the new astronauts on the ISS could likely expect space crops to become part of the food supply. That’s because last year NASA managed to grow the first crop of radishes in space, as part of an effort to launch longer-duration missions.

Replica of the Iss laboratory

(Photo: Loren Elliott / Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 24: A mockup of the U.S. Laboratory’s Destiny at the International Space Station is seen inside the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility during a media preview for an upcoming open house at Johnson Space Center in NASA on October 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. The open house will celebrate the 60th anniversary of NASA and the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station.

Related article: ISS astronauts find NEW CRACKS in the walls of the Space Station: is she due to retire soon?

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Written by RJ Pierce

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