“A small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” said Neil Armstrong when he first set foot on the moon. Our next frontier is Mars, and out of the many problems that need to be addressed to get human beings on Mars on the next NASA Mars Mission, the main is that of food – food for our space voyagers.
First Things First
US Space agency NASA is working to create lightweight food bars that provide calories without adding a lot of extra weight. Unlike the International Space Station, where astronauts can choose from more than 200 food items, that’s simply not feasible on a NASA Mars Mission, primarily because the amount of fuel needed to reach Mars means finding ways to save weight in other areas, like food.
US Space agency NASA is working to create lightweight food bars that provide calories without adding a lot of extra weight
The Big Picture
Some of the flavours being worked on include orange cranberry and barbecue nuts among others. NASA primarily aims to supplement the bars for breakfast. “When you have 700 to 900 calories of something, it’s going to have some mass regardless of what shape it’s in, so we’ve taken a look at how to get some mass savings by reducing how we’re packaging and stowing what the crew would eat for breakfast for early Orion flights with crew,” said Jessica Vos to the media, deputy health and medical technical authority of Orion – the first planned manned spacecraft to Mars , to be launched in 2021.
According to market research, there is no such commercially available bars as of now. Although many people take a protein bar for breakfast, those does not meet NASA’s objectives. Hence, NASA is developing it in-house. Research suggests that food taste, quality and choice are important to bolster crew morale on long-term missions. Keeping all these things in mind, NASA is putting all the best minds together to develop the bar.
Bon Voyage meets Bon Appetite !
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This was originally published in EatTreat.