It’s Thanksgiving time…which means you’re probably thinking about food…
Ever wonder what the astronauts living and working on the International Space Station eat during their time 250 miles above the Earth? There’s no microwave, but they get by using other methods.
Here are some fun facts about astronaut food…
Astronauts are assigned their own set of silverware to use during their mission (they can keep it afterward too). Without a dishwasher in orbit, they use special wipes to sterilize their set between uses, but it’s still better for everyone if they keep track of and use their own! So many sets of silverware were ordered during the space shuttle program that crews on the space station today still use silverware engraved with the word “shuttle” on them! So #retro.
You probably know that astronauts use tortillas instead of bread to avoid crumbs floating everywhere. Rodolfo Neri Vela, a payload specialist from Mexico, who flew on the space shuttle in 1985, introduced tortillas to the space food system. Back then, we would buy fresh tortillas the day before launch to send on the 8-10 day space shuttle missions.
We then learned how to reduce the water activity when formulating tortillas, which coupled with the reduction of oxygen during packaging would prevent the growth of mold and enable them to last for longer shuttle missions. Now, we get tortillas from the military. In August 2017, acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot ate a meal that included tortillas from 2015!
Our food menu is mostly all made from scratch so it can meet the requirements of the nutrition team and ensure astronauts eat enough fruits and vegetables. The space station is stocked with a standard menu that includes a mix of the more than 200 food and drink options available. This ensures lots of variety for the station crews but not too many of each individual item.
The food is packaged into bulk overwrap bags, referred to as BOBs, which are packed into cargo transfer bags for delivery to the space station. Each astronaut also gets to bring nine personalized BOBs for a mission, each containing up to 60 food and drink options so they can include more of their favorites – or choose to send a few specific items for everyone to share on a particular holiday like Thanksgiving. As a result, the crew members often share and swap their food to get more variety. Astronauts also can include any food available at the grocery store as long as it has an 18-month shelf life at room temperature and meets the microbiological requirements.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are a special treat for astronauts, so nearly every cargo resupply mission includes fresh fruit and veggies – and sometimes ice cream!
The Dragon spacecraft has freezers to bring science samples back to Earth. If there is space available on its way to orbit, the ground crew may fill the freezer with small cups of ice cream or ice cream bars.
Some food arrives freeze-dried, and the astronauts rehydrate it by inserting a specific amount of hot or ambient water from a special machine.
Other food comes ready to eat but needs to be reheated, which crew members do on a hot-plate like device. We recently also sent an oven style food warmer to station for the crew to use. And of course, some food like peanuts just get packaged for delivery and are ready to eat as soon as the package is opened!
Our nutritional biochemists have discovered that astronauts who eat more fish in space lost less bone, which is one of the essential problems for astronauts to overcome during extended stays in space. In the limited area aboard the space shuttle, not all crew members loved it when their coworkers ate the (aromatic) fish dishes, but now that the space station is about the size of a six-bedroom house, that’s not really a problem.
Astronauts on station have had the opportunity to grow (and eat!) a modest amount of fresh vegetables since the first lettuce harvest in August 2015, with new crops growing now and more coming soon. Crew members have been experimenting using the Veggie growth chamber, and soon plant research will also occur in the new Advanced Plant Habitat, which is nearly self-sufficient and able to control every aspect of the plant environment!
Growing food in space will be an important component of future deep space missions, and our nutritionists are working with these experiments to ensure they also are nutritious and safe for the crew to eat.
Thanksgiving in Space
The crew on the space station will enjoy Thanksgiving together. Here’s a look at their holiday menu:
Learn more about growing food on the space station HERE.
today in the 32nd anniversary of the 8.1 earthquake that left Mexico City in ruins and killed thousands of people, a 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico again collapsing buildings and letting people trapped, and it was two weeks after the 8.2 earthquake 😭
There are no pens in your toolbox—not because
you don’t need them, but because you don’t need to actively obtain them.
In a world where every commodity is carefully tracked and distributed,
pens are the exception, floating freely in unoccupied space. You may
have a pen with you right now, but if you don’t, you could certainly
find one in a couple of minutes, and no one would mind if you took it.
No other product is like this: You don’t drive your car, drop it off
somewhere, and grab the next one you see lying around. Pens are rarely
used start to finish by the same person. When was the last time you
bought a pen, used it for a long time, and saw
it through to the end of its ink supply? Or bought an actual replacement
ballpoint cartridge? Never.
Look at the pen nearest you right now. Do
you even know where it came from? Is it imprinted with the logo of a
company you’ve never heard of?
We spend our lives drifting through an
ephemeral sea of pens, using them and letting them go, like spent I
overs—finding, lending, misplacing, replacing, discovering, dismantling,
piling the components on our desks and playing with that little spring.
If there is any evidence for creationism, it can be found in pens: They
exist all around us, but no one knows from whence they came. We know
only that they are good, they are here to serve us, and some people can
spin them around their thumb.
-Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go To Grad School, Adam Ruben
what if keith was actually new mexican instead of texan?? like just imagine the amount of roswell new mexico keith jokes we can make,, like bumfuck texas who???? i only know enchanted alien skies new mexico
i like to think mexico definitely talks to her mom* now and then.
*(she’s got more than one mother, like most other nations, but i think she would have felt particularly close to mexica, who headed the triple alliance made up of multiple city states that we call the aztec empire. it’s who she got her name from, and mexico city was built atop tenochtitlan. mexico comes to represent much more, but she is in many ways very much her heir.)
What began as a simple idea, became a unique event in Latin America that show what the Anime can do, and how awesome Dragon Ball has become.
Many will know the story, an governor in Mexico gave the idea of transmitting the fight of Jiren and Goku in a town square, so much emotion caused
among the people that many intendants and governors began to do the same. In other countries, such as Peru, Ecuador and Argentina, they also began to mobilize and get the whole world to talk about it:
When Toei found out everything, It announced that without the rights, the transmission of episode 130 was prohibited, so many countries canceled all activity.
The scandal provoked a press conference from the government of Mexico:
Meanwhile, other cities of Latin America such as Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) although they got a lot of support in social networks and managing to be a trending topic on Twitter with hashtag like #DragonBallSuperEnElObelisco, didn’t have enough support from their government but they didn’t stop that to process it in bars and taverns, for example:
What Can We Learn from the Universe’s Baby Picture?
If you look at your baby photos, you might see hints of the person you are today — a certain look in the eyes, maybe the hint of your future nose or ears. In the same way, scientists examine the universe’s “baby picture” for clues about how it grew into the cosmos we know now. This baby photo is the cosmic microwave background (CMB), a faint glow that permeates the universe in all directions.
In late September, NASA plans to launch a balloon-based astronomical observatory from Fort Sumner, New Mexico, to study the universe’s baby picture. Meet PIPER! The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer will fly at the edge of our atmosphere to look for subtle patterns in the CMB.
The CMB is cold. Really, really cold. The average temperature is around minus 455 degrees Fahrenheit. It formed 380,000 years after the big bang, which scientists think happened about 13.8 billion years ago. When it was first discovered, the CMB temperature looked very uniform, but researchers later found there are slight variations like hot and cold spots. The CMB is the oldest light in the universe that we can see. Anything before the CMB is foggy — literally.
Credit: Rob van Hal
Before the CMB, the universe was a fog of hot, dense plasma. (By hot, we’re talking about 500 million degrees F.) That’s so hot that atoms couldn’t exist yet – there was just a soup of electrons and protons. Electrons are great at deflecting light. So, any light that existed in the first few hundred thousand years after the big bang couldn’t travel very far before bouncing off electrons, similar to the way a car’s headlights get diffused in fog.
The light we see in the CMB comes from the recombination era. As it traveled across the universe, through the formation of stars and galaxies, it lost energy. Now we observe it in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is less energetic than visible light and therefore invisible to our eyes. The first baby photo of the CMB – really, a map of the sky in microwaves – came from our Cosmic Background Explorer, which operated from 1989 to 1993.
Right after the big bang, we’re pretty sure the universe was tiny. Really tiny. Everything we see today would have been stuffed into something smaller than a proton. If the universe started out that small, then it would have followed the rules of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics allows all sorts of strange things to happen. Matter and energy can be “borrowed” from the future then crash back into nothingness. And then cosmic inflation happened and the universe suddenly expanded by a trillion trillion times.
All this chaos creates a sea of gravitational waves. (These are called “primordial” gravitational waves and come from a different source than the gravitational waves you may have heard about from merging neutron stars and black holes.) The signal of the primordial gravitational waves is a bit like white noise, where the signal from merging dead stars is like a whistle you can pick up over the noise.
These gravitational waves filled the baby universe and created distinct patterns, called B-mode polarization, in the CMB light. These patterns have handedness, which means even though they’re mirror images of each other, they’re not symmetrical — like trying to wear a left-hand glove on your right hand. They’re distinct from another kind of polarization called E-mode, which is symmetrical and echoes the distribution of matter in the universe.
That’s where PIPER comes in. PIPER’s two telescopes sit in a hot-tub-sized container of liquid helium, which runs about minus 452 degrees F. It’ll look at 85 percent of the sky and is extremely sensitive, so it will help us learn even more about the early days of the universe. By telling us more about polarization and those primordial gravitational waves, PIPER will help us understand how the early universe grew from that first baby picture.
PIPER’s first launch window in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, is in late September. When it’s getting ready to launch, you’ll be able to watch the balloon being filled on the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility website. Follow NASA Blueshift on Twitter or Facebook for updates about PIPER and when the livestream will be available.