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Food of Flight



In Physics class we are currently working on a space exploration computer game named Kerbal Space Program. The purpose of the game is to build rockets or airplanes, think about money management, learn about space exploration, and achieve preset checkpoints. Lately, as our groups attempt longer and longer missions, the Kerbals are stuck in space for a considerably long time before returning home. The question has arisen, what do Kerbals eat while in space in order to survive? I am no Kerbal expert, and I have no idea what the Kerbals consume if they consume anything. However, this prompt inspired me to research a bit about space food in general.

Typically, when one thinks of space food, tubes of unidentifiable jellies and freeze-dried snacks come to mind. Space food isn't known for receiving 5 stars. Food scientists have designed space food to be easily prepared, provide nutrients, and be edible while in low gravity. Foods which leave crumbs are not well-suited for space. Crumbs can float around the space craft and fly into unwanted areas. Loose debris such as crumbs can be harmful and dangerous to the crew. Today, the selections for space food are numerous in comparison to the tubed-applesauce of the past. To list some of the most popular space foods here they are-- Scrambled eggs, Chocolate pudding, Macaroni and Cheese, M&Ms, Pineapple, Swedish Meatballs, Yogurt, Tortillas, Shrimp Cocktail... So, if the mystery of space food turned your interest away from becoming an astronaut, think again. The food today isn't so bad. Food scientists with the help of physicists have mastered the art of eating in low gravity environments.


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On the Kerbal Space Program Wiki, it states, "Kerbals can survive for years with minimal or no food and oxygen supply." How about that? I wonder if they undergo photosynthesis or filter feed or something...

If I were an astronaut, I'd be all over that Mac and Cheese. :)

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