Menu for Mars

Menu for Mars

Thanksgiving Meal, celebrated 80 million miles from Earth presents a challenge worthy of any chef. Little wonder that NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Project, working with Lockheed Martin, has already begun working on the menu for a manned mission to the Red Planet sometime in the 2030’s.

Veggie Loaf No turkey, sorry! Martian food has to have a shelf life of 5 years, and meat products cannot be stabilized that long with current food technology. I hope the astronauts like soy. Oils or granules of concentrated flavors will be encased in tiny beads and coated with a substance that dissolves on contact with saliva. Yum .

Pinto Bean Pie “Like a pecan pie without the pecans,” says a NASA senior research scientist. Because the pie may taste 30 percent less sweet in space, astronauts on board International Space Station will do taste tests on the five flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami).

 • Recipe NASA’s recipe for Space Cornbread Dressing: http://www.space.com/6173-nasa-recipe-space-cornbread-dressing.html

Video  Watch Commander Kevin Ford aboard the International Space Station show off today’s Thanksgiving meal (dehydrated candied yam with marshmallow cream…  mmmm!): http://www.space.com/18569-thanksgiving-feast-in-space-the-menu-video.html

Source: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/st_thanksgivingonmars/

#scienceeveryday #thanksgiving2012  

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54 Responses to Menu for Mars

  1. Rajini Rao says:


    You’re welcome to my slice of pinto  bean pie, Panah Rad 🙂


    Thanks, Feisal Kamil ! Perhaps a turkey or two could be taken for the ride 😉

  2. E.E. Giorgi says:


    Hmm… yum! 😉


    Happy Thanksgiving, Rajini Rao ! 🙂

  3. Rajini Rao says:


    Thanks, E.E. Giorgi . I’m hoping to do just a little bit better than the Martian menu today 🙂


  4. As a kid eating freeze dried ice cream was the highlight of my trip to the Air Space Museum in D. C.

  5. Mike Byrnes says:


    Love the image. But hate the idea of a Thanksgiving meal in space. I’ll take Tang and MRE’s. Mmmmm. Now that’s an intergalactic treat.

  6. Rajini Rao says:


    David Nicholl , I was surprised (and disappointed) to learn that freeze dried ice cream only made it on one flight. 😦


    “But other foods that are stereotypically associated with space are actually rarely eaten there. The freeze-dried ice cream actually only flew once” on an Apollo mission, when a crewmember requested it, Kloeris said. “It’s more like hard cotton candy. Certainly if [astronauts] wanted to request that they could, but that’s not something that adults want. Kids like it; they sell it at the gift shop.”


    From http://www.space.com/18577-space-station-thanksgiving-food.html#

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    I was thinking of the human version of those birds, Feisal Kamil . Sometimes one wishes to send them into space 😉

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    Tang and MRE: are those what troops would have for Thanksgiving out in the desert, Mike Byrnes ?


    Gnotic Pasta may have had them on duty.

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    Futuristic reprise of Lord of the Flies , Feisal Kamil ?

  10. Mike Byrnes says:


    Rajini Rao Tang was “invented” by NASA. Yep. MRE stands for “meals ready to eat”.

  11. Mike Byrnes says:


    Pinto beans in a space capsule? That’s a no no.

  12. Rajini Rao says:


    Hmmm..pinto beans could have some advantage out in space. At least they would never be stranded without gas.

  13. Rajini Rao says:


    Thank you, and you too Kimberly Elaine ! 🙂

  14. Bill Collins says:


    Awesomely interesting! I’m surprised that they can’t use smoked salmon.

  15. Rajini Rao says:


    Sounds fancy, Bill Collins! Do you, or other meat eaters know if it’s true that packaged meat products have to be used by 5 years?

  16. Bill Collins says:


    I do not know. Something to research. I can see it with meats like chicken and beef. I thought that canned pork could last longer, but that may be contraindicated for other reasons.

  17. Rajini Rao says:


    Thank you, surya chawla 🙂 If you are celebrating this holiday, I hope you have a grand time.


    Lester K , that field roast is vegetarian and looks solid enough for our astronauts 🙂

  18. Jim Carver says:


    A wild turkey is not a flightless bird. Okay, they don’t soar like an eagle but they can fly.

  19. DaFreak says:


    We should first focus our efforts on colonizing the moon. Extract water from its surface, refine it into Oxygen and Hydrogen. We should open up shop in lunar orbit or at the L2 point. Then we can launch from earth with a ton of Mars critical payload and stock up on water, oxygen and fuel around the moon before pushing on to Mars. This would allow us to bring a ton of extra stuff… The average lifespan for a domesticated turkey is ten years. :p

  20. Rajini Rao says:


    The stomach fuels the imagination, Koen De Paus ! That’s a great recipe for space travel 🙂


    Nice to see you back, BTW!


  21. moon is unable to survive from solar flares…bad luck

  22. DaFreak says:


    We could construct a lunar base inside a crater or lava tube which would minimize or eliminate exposure to harmful radiation. We can construct shielding in LEO and dock with it before moving to the moon, we can carry our own artificial magnetic field with us, biologically inspired radiation suppressants, … There are many possible solutions.

  23. Rajini Rao says:


    How much sugar do you have with your coffee, Peter Lindelauf ? After my husband’s constant nagging, I’m down to half tsp for my first cup and nothing for the refills. I may as well escape to space! 🙂


    I should note that neither of us is overweight and has no history of diabetes. Just sheer self-flagellation, I call it.

  24. Rajini Rao says:


    I need a splash of milk to counter the acidity of the coffee since I have mine very strong. I’ve no desire to sprout chest hairs 😉

  25. Rajini Rao says:


    May be so, but I’m not taking any chances, LOL. I use a drip coffee machine, but grind the beans fresh and tamp them down really well to get the French Press effect. Hmm, should pull out the old FP and compare the two…

  26. Rajini Rao says:


    Haha, coffee throw down! The bad drip machines are the ones that let the water just race through, so they barely extract anything. If it is a good flow rate, a conical cup, plenty of fresh grounds and tamped down (I use three knuckles to push all the grounds to the bottom), then the percolate is good. I don’t let it sit on the hot plate for ever, either.

  27. Rajini Rao says:


    Haha, hijack away while I prepare a Martian meal 🙂


    No freeze dried/instant coffee for this Earthling!

  28. Rajini Rao says:


    This is Major Tom to Ground Control

  29. Mary T says:


    OK, Rajini Rao I have to say the comment threads on your posts are nearly as good as the posts.  Almost always a WIN <3.  A smiling nod to your partners in shimmering wit, Peter Lindelauf Gnotic Pasta Feisal Kamil ~

  30. Rajini Rao says:


    LOL, thank you Mara Rose ; this is not by design. These Incorrigibles are experts in hijacking posts. As always, Feisal Kamil is to blame. 

  31. Mary T says:


    Yes, and where did he run off to?  I started following him because of this activity of his.  You guys crack me up!!!

  32. Mary T says:


    Rajini Rao BTW, I took a look at your food blog.  So much yummy food!  I bookmarked the site, for when a time when I am more ambitious in the kitchen.  I love Indian food.

  33. Rajini Rao says:


    Sleep is vastly overrated; I hope all these tags are shaking Feisal Kamil out of his lotus-eating slothful habits 😛


    Mara Rose , my blog is a somewhat haphazard outlet for my kitchen creativity. Only the successes are featured; as Kimberly Chapman famously says, eat the evidence .

  34. Mary T says:


    Yes, Feisal Kamil Stir the pot, and go hibernate under the covers, LOL!


  35. I hope you’re having a great day Rajini Rao. As far as space food… I think i want to eat on earth. (but the pinto bean pie sounds different)

  36. Chad Haney says:


    You’re Hot Rajini Rao I mean your post is. I wonder if it’s the new tailored WH.

  37. Rajini Rao says:


    Hi Chad Haney ! Which post?

  38. Rajini Rao says:


    This post is silly? 😉


    It can only be lukewarm…it’s a dish that has been incubating all day, lol.

  39. Chad Haney says:


    No offense dear but that’s why I was wondering if it’s the new tailored WH.

  40. Rajini Rao says:


    Was there supposed to be a new tailoring of WH? I had not heard. Kostya gave me along explanation of multiple tiers for Pages, promotions, etc. I need to read it carefully. Not sure if that was his analysis or from some horse’s mouth.

  41. Chad Haney says:


    It was explained in a limited post. 


  42. What’s wrong with keeping rabbits? Worst case the rabbits die and instead of fresh meat you get the crap in the bag exclusively.

  43. Rajini Rao says:


    We are just teasing you, Feisal Kamil 🙂

  44. Mary T says:


    Feisal Kamil You are so much fun ❤

  45. Mary T says:


    Feisal Kamil You guys are better than Monty Python.

  46. Mary T says:


    Feisal Kamil I dunno… I think you guys are close–you frequently have me ROTL.  Giving the 800# to that guy was priceless. 


    Here’s a fave Python for inspiration: 


    http://youtu.be/Xe1a1wHxTyo
    You’re not alone in thread-jacking, 😛

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