ELAINE BIJU JOSEPH
Department of Food Technology
S7 FT, 20142822
Mr. A.SURENDRA BABU
Department of Food Technology
• “Space foods are those food products specially created and
processed for consumption of astronauts in outer
space.”(Space Food and Nutrition, NASA, 1999.)
• Advancements in food packaging, preservation, preparation
and nutrient to meet the challenges of space resulted in
many commercial products.
• Food needs to be edible throughout the voyage, and it also
needs to provide all the nutrients required to avoid vitamin
To study the history of space foods
To understand the requirements & types of
To review the recent advances in space food
technology & the packaging technology
• John Glenn in 1962, America's first man to eat anything in the
near-weightless environment of Earth orbit, found the menu to
• First Americans to the space-Stored in toothpaste like tubes,
Food in cubed , powdered and liquid form .
• First man to the space- his lunch consisted of a liquid paste and
• Freeze dried foods had to be re-hydrated which fond an
• Early food dehydration was achieved by cutting meat, fish, and
certain fruits into thin strips and drying them in sunlight.
Rubbing food with salt or soaking it in salt water, an early form
of curing food, also helped preserve it.
PROJECT MERCURY( 1962-1964)
• The first space mission where food was taken on the trip
was the Project Mercury trips of the 1960’s
• The first space foods were unappetizing, to say the least.
• Most were semi-liquids that were squeezed from tubes
and sucked up through straws.
• There were also bite-sized cubes of compressed and
dehydrated foods that were rehydrated by the saliva in the
Early Project Mercury flight food: food tube and
drybite-sized snacks with a gelatin coating. 6
• By the Gemini missions of 1965, NASA had developed freeze dried
foods that allowed a wide variety of foods to be served.
• Some examples -grape and orange drinks, cinnamon toasted bread
cubes, fruit cocktail, chocolate cubes, turkey bites, apple-sauce, cream
of chicken soup, shrimp cocktail, beef stew, chicken and rice, and
turkey and gravy.
• Adequate nutrient intake became a health concern with extended
space flights in the Gemini program. Each crew member was supplied
with 0.58 kilograms of food per day.
Sample types of food that have been
dehydrated and packaged in cellophane
for use by Gemini astronauts.
• The Apollo mission was the first mission to use
hot water to rehydrate food.
• first mission that spoons were used to eat food
instead of squeeze bottles. The wetness from the
food made the food cling to the spoon and not
• also introduced thermo stabilized pouches called
• These flexible plastic or aluminum foil pouches
kept food moist enough so that it didn't have to be
• The Apollo crew was able to dine on bacon
squares, cornflakes, beef sandwiches, chocolate
pudding and tuna salad.
• As Apollo 8 circled the moon on Christmas Eve
1968, the crew even feasted on fruitcake. 8
These Apollo spoon bowl parts show the
complexity and engineering that went into
the earlier years of space flight food
• The Skylab missions were the first to have large dinning rooms where
the astronauts could sit down and eat.
• It also had on board refrigeration which the current space shuttle does
• They had 72 different types of menu items in all.
• Food warmer trays allowed astronauts to heat their food in-flight.
• Foods consisted of products such as ham, chilli, mashed potatoes, ice
cream, steak and asparagus etc.
This Skylab food tray had individual recessed
compartments into which the canned food item
was placed for heating.
Skylab Astronaut Owen K. Garriott eating in
the Skylab dining area.
SPACE SHUTTLE( 1982)
• By the early 1980s and the launch of the first space shuttle,
meals looked almost identical to what astronauts ate on Earth.
• Astronauts designed their own seven day menus selected from
74 different foods and 20 drinks.
• They prepared their meals in a galley with a water dispenser and
Prepared foods on Shuttle food trays Velcroed
tomiddeck stowage lockers.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION(ISS)
• The International Space Station (ISS) will become operational on
a full-time basis with a crew of three.
• Later, the crew size will grow to a maximum of seven people.
• The crew will reside in the Habitation Module (HAB). Food and
other supplies will be resupplied every 90 days by the Multi-
Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM).
• Most consumables on the international space are canned, frozen
or wrapped in sealed packs.
12Empty International Space Station food tray.
• Must be nutritional
• Easy to digest and palatable
• Must be light
• Properly sealed
• Quick and easy to prepare and to clean up after
• Must be engineered in a zero gravity environment
• Bite-size portions to prevent crumbs in the cabin during
• Stability at room temperature, due to the limitations of
refrigeration aboard the spaceship
(KathyDe Antonis, Spacefood, 2009) 13
Advances in space food
• Today, fruits and vegetables that can be safely
stored at room temperature are eaten on space
• Astronauts sometimes request beef jerky for
flights, as it is lightweight, calorie dense, and can
be consumed in orbit without packaging or other
• warm pouches of savory shrimp cocktail and
apples with black current juice available.
The Space Idli Mission (2012)
• Dr K Radhakrishna, additional director of the Defence Food Research
Laboratory (DFRL) preparing an Indian menu suitable for space.
• The first items of the space menu are now ready-tiny idlis, the size of
Rs 2 coins, accompanied by flaming orange sambhar powder and
creamy coconut chutney dust.
• The idlis are cooked and dried using infrared radiation at a
temperature of 700º C, and then further dried by microwaving.
• space yoghurt-developed using pulsed electric field technology in
which short bursts of electricity are passed through a fluid food.
• The pack, as it has been designed now, has ten such idlis. It is the
equivalent of three normal sized idlis.
• “It is the perfect snack,” says Anil Dutt Semwal, senior scientist at
DFRL, “And the cost is minimal: Rs 8 or 10 for a pack.
• Radhakrishna has also been working on space rasgullas.
• Space foods are processed to ensure quality and safety.
• Shelf life is determined by noting changes in product quality, and the lab has
specific methodology for testing.
• Testing at the Space Food Systems Laboratory begins with sensory
• Fresh fruits and vegetables are minimally processed -they're sanitized with a
200ppm chlorine rinse, air-dried and then placed on a food tray, ready to be
stored in the fresh food locker. Some vegetables, like carrots and celery, are
packaged in sealable bags.
• Once products and menus are green-lighted, -Flight Equipment Processing
Contractor for processing, packaging and storing before being sent to
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.
• Two to three days before launch (or 24 hours for fresh foods), food lockers
are placed onboard the shuttle, ready to go into space.
• There is still a battery of tests to be done before they are ready for
• -Chemical analysis to see they smell right and don’t disintegrate,
• physical analysis to ensure they look right,
• microbiological trials to confirm there are no micro-organisms,
• vibration studies to find out whether they can withstand G-forces
at the time of launch.
• All fresh foods need to be eaten within the first few days of a
mission because they spoil quickly. Foods going to the
International Space Station must have a one-year shelf life, and any
foods developed for future planetary expeditions or outposts must
have a five-year shelf life [source: Iowa State University].
• These foods are neither processed nor artificially
• Examples include apples and bananas.
• The water is removed from rehydratable foods to make
them easier to store.
• This process of dehydration (also known as freeze drying) is
described in the earlier Gemini section.
• Water is replaced in the foods before they are eaten.
Rehydratable items include beverages as well as food items.
Hot cereal such as oatmeal is a rehydratable food.
Natural form foods
• These foods are ready to eat and are packaged in
• Examples include nuts, granola bars, and cookies.
Intermediate moisture foods
• Intermediate moisture foods are preserved by taking
some water out of the product while leaving enough
in to maintain the soft texture.
• This way, it can be eaten without any preparation.
• These foods include dried peaches, pears, apricots,
and beef jerky.
• Freeze dried drink mixes (coffee or tea) or flavored
drinks (lemonade or orange drink) are provided in
vacuum sealed beverage pouches.
• Coffee and tea may have powdered cream and/or sugar
added depending on personal taste preferences.
• Empty beverage pouches are provided for drinking
• They are heat processed so they can be stored at room temperature.
• Most of the fruits and fish (tuna fish) are thermostabilized in cans.
• This includes products such as beef tips with mushrooms, tomatoes
and eggplant, grilled chicken and ham
• The cans open with easy-open pull tabs similar to fruit cups that can
be purchased in the local grocery store.
• Puddings are packaged in
• Beef steak and smoked turkey are the only irradiated
products being used at this time.
• These products are cooked and packaged in flexible foil
pouches and sterilized by ionizing radiation so they can be
kept at room temperature.
• catsup, mustard, mayonnaise, taco sauce, and
hot pepper sauce
• Packaged in Polyethylene dropper bottles
• Currently, scientists take advantage of materials such as Mylar®,
Aclar® and polyethylene to create flexible containers and pouches as
well as sticking to old standards like foil pouches and aluminium for
• Each package is given a barcode and coloured fabric fastener dots.
The dots' colours match each crewmember with his or her menu
• For Shuttle the food package weight is about 0.5 pounds per person,
• NASA’s beverage package is a modified Capri Sun package made
from a foil laminate. Rehydratable and bite-sized foods are packaged
using modified atmosphere techniques.
• Commercial pouches are used for thermostabilized and irradiated
• Each package is flushed with nitrogen three times before the final
seal at 21 to 29 inches of Hg vacuum. 28
Packaging used for bite-sized foods. side view of a rehydratable food
Septum adapter with
foil laminate seal
Foil laminate beverage package
Drinking straw with clamp
Commercial condiment pouch
Other packaging materials used for space foods include retortable pouches, commercial full-
panel pullout aluminum cans, and commercial plastic pudding containers. 29
• Must be well packaged, quick to serve and must be
engineered in a zero gravity environment
• Food for Astronaut’s must be compact, lightweight,
nutritious, tasty, sticky & shelf stable
• Crumbs and liquids could damage equipment or be
• The knife, fork, spoon, and scissors are secured to
magnets on the food tray when they are not being
HOW MUCH FOOD THEY HAVE
HOW THEY EAT?
• 3.8 pounds(1723.65gram) of food, including 1 pound (453.582g)
of packaging, per astronaut for each day.
• The astronauts get three meals a day, plus snacks.
• A meal tray is used to hold the food containers
• It’s attached to an astronaut's lap by a strap or attached to a wall.
• The tray also holds the food packages in place and keeps them
from floating away in the microgravity of space.
• In the future, NASA is looking to send astronauts to outposts
on the moon and Mars.
• Although the target for liftoff for the moon mission is not until
2020, efforts are already under way at the Space Food
• Scientists in the Advanced Food Technology group, led by
NASA food scientist MichelePerchonok, are developing foods
that are “nutritious, good tasting, and provide variety for a
• The biggest challenge for these future missions is a food’s
• According to recent developments, 3D printing may also
shape the future of space food for long duration missions.
(Carmen Victoria Felix )
Using a modified RepRap, 3Dprintler 3D printed icing on cookies at Tech Links Ottawa in November.
SQ & MA Lead Matthew Napoli works with a printer in the Made in Space clean room.
• Casaburri.A. and Gardner.C., Space Food and Nutrition-An
Educator’s Guide With Activities in Science and
Mathematics,(National Aeronautics and Space
• Lyndon B. Space center , NASA Facts, August 2004.
• Antonis.K., Space food, chem matters, December 2009.
• Pultarova .T et.al. , Special report space food, Space safety