Showing posts with label NASA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NASA. Show all posts

Monday, May 16, 2011

John F. Kennedy and the Rise of Space Food

With this morning's successful launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor it seems fitting to remember President John F. Kennedy's famous 1962 speech at Rice University in which he reaffirmed America's commitment to landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In it, he said:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too….It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency…

Less than seven years later, on July 20, 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 space mission, astronaut Neil Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module (nicknamed “The Eagle”) and became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. The crew spent a total of two and a half hours on the moon, performing experiments and collecting soil and rock samples to return to Earth.

So what in the world does this have to do with food? A lot, if you’re talking about space food! According to sources at NASA, the first American astronauts had to eat bland, bite-sized cubes of food, freeze dried powders, and semi-liquids that were squeezed from aluminum tubes.

By the late 1960s, the quality of space food had greatly improved. The Apollo astronauts were the first to have hot water, which improved the food's texture and taste. Today, more than 250 food and beverage items are available for astronauts in space. They can choose from beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with meatballs, peanut butter, seafood, candy, cereal, nuts, and fruit.

Sandwiches with bread, however, are strictly forbidden. That's because there is no gravitational pull in space and so bread crumbs could float away and get stuck in equipment, clog air vents, or contaminate experiments. Condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise come in their normal forms, but salt and pepper are only available in liquid form because, like bread crumbs, the powdered versions could float away and pose a danger to the mission.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

John F. Kennedy, The New Frontier, and the Rise of Space Food

In a famous 1962 speech at Rice University in Houston, Texas, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed America's commitment to landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In it, he said:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too….It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency…

Seven years later, on July 20, 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 space mission, astronaut Neil Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module (nicknamed “The Eagle”) and became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. The crew spent a total of two and a half hours on the moon, performing experiments and collecting soil and rock samples to return to Earth.

So what does this have to do with food? A lot, if you’re talking about space food! According to sources at NASA, the first American astronauts had to eat bland, bite-sized cubes of food, freeze dried powders, and semi-liquids that were squeezed from aluminum tubes.

By the late 1960s, the quality of space food had greatly improved. The Apollo astronauts were the first to have hot water, which improved the food's texture and taste. Today, a wide variety of menu items are available for astronauts in space. They can choose from beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, meatballs, peanut butter, seafood, candy, cereal, nuts, and fruit.

Sandwiches with bread, however, are strictly forbidden. That's because there is no gravitational pull in space and so bread crumbs could float away and get stuck in equipment, clog air vents, or contaminate experiments. Condiments like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise come in their normal forms, but salt and pepper are only available in liquid form because, like bread crumbs, the powdered versions could float away and pose a danger to the mission.