What they eat astronauts when they are in space? How do you feed yourself in harsh conditions? microgravity, and what foods can be brought into orbit? The theme, which has always aroused a lot of curiosity, has aroused interest in recent days from the Italian astronaut’s TikTok account Samantha Cristoforettiwho carried out a new mission a few weeks ago.
Indeed, in one of his short films, Cristoforetti explained how we feed on the International Space Station (ISS). First of all no perishables, because on board the orbital station there are no refrigerators or freezers available to ensure adequate storage. For this reason I food that can be stored without too many problemseven better if they can be rehydrated just before eating.
Great attention must also be paid to the method of transporting the food: it is in principle possible to bring into the space also products that can be found in the supermarket, but the the packaging must be adapted to the situation, to avoid unpleasant and dangerous inconvenience. Cristoforetti herself showed her followers, for example, how all food should be wrapped in a special velcro before starting the journey off Earth.
You can eat anything, but watch out for the crumbs
On April 28, Samantha Cristoforetti returned to space during the mission Minervaof duration of 5 or 6 months. It will be a very demanding challenge, not only because of the difficulty of the experiments but also from a physical and psychological point of view. Because of this nutrition will be key be able to maintain good health and stay in good shape throughout the mission.
In general, the cadence of meals in space is not so different from that on Earth, with the typical three meals a day. Until a few years ago, it was only possible to feed yourself with mash potatoes or dry goodswhile now the options have multiplied: in recent years the videos posted by astronauts have been shown food ranging from pumpkin to fish, honey to vegetables to beef, pasta, brownies and much more. In short, we tend to vary the food as much as possible in order to guarantee a complete and balanced diet. The appearance of these foods, however, is still quite different from the well-maintained dishes we are used to here on Earth.
And there is no lack of seasonings, mayonnaise to ketchup, but also salt, pepper and many spices. It seems, in this respect, that Samantha Cristoforetti brought with him into space oil from Puglia, to feel a little more at home. What not everyone may know, however, is that food in space can taste a little different compared to what we are used to on Earth, precisely because of the effect of microgravity on the food itself and the way it moves in the air current.
But all in all, we don’t eat so badly anymore in space, even if the level of attention must always remain high, given the difficulty of transporting, storing and cooking the various products. It may seem unexpected and ridiculous, but one of the main enemies of space are the crumbs: due to the absence of gravity, everything floats in the air, and small bits of food wandering around the ship they can cause a lot of problems.