NASA seeks public's help in the space kitchen

Originally published at: NASA seeks public's help in the space kitchen | Boing Boing


I recommend hard boiled eggs, gorgonzola cheese, salami, and beer, don’t forget the day old crusty bread, tell me how it turns out…


Frozen waffles. You can eat them cold, you can eat them warmed, you can use them as a Frisbee, you can break off pieces to patch micro-meteor leaks. It’s a no brainer. Le’go my space eggos.


I suppose potatoes have been covered ad nauseum.



Pizza, so we can watch them spin it midair and then take a bite as it spins around. nom nom


Honestly, the most important component is getting humans to comprehend that food doesn’t need to be tasty and diverse in presentation, as long as it provides all the necessary nutrition. You need people who are willing to eat the same thing every day for months and not have it mess with their head.


Assuming the gravity issue gets sorted, and with the understanding that the gas cooker here would be electric (because open flames in space = bad):

Many foods from the Russian space program are packaged in cans and tins.[8] These are heated through electro-resistive (ohmic) methods, opened with a can-opener, and the food inside consumed directly. Russian soups are hydrated and consumed directly from their packages.[9]

U.S. manned flight heyday of the 1960s and '70s had “space sticks” :thinking: :

ETA: electric not gas
ETA2: grow food plants in space

No competition at the farmers market!

ETA3: punctuation


Yeah, that’s the sort of statement that won’t really pass muster with NASA or the CSA. “No gravity” is, like, 90% of the problem here. Imagine pan frying something when the food won’t stay on the pan except by friction. Chopping something and having pieces rocket off in all directions. That first image has at least three things wrong with it (rinse water dripping down onto the herbs, for example).


The effects of microgravity on astro- and cosmonauts is well-known and if anyone’s going to get any work done, like research and science and data gathering and stuff, having a medically fragile crew just ain’t gonna cut it.

I know… I was posting aspirationally, but I do like a lot about that kitchen design because closed loops for me are totally where it’s at. Especially biological and chemical closed loops.

Closed loops are freakin’ magic.
And the only way manned spaceflight is going to work. And/or off-world human habitation.

Huge fans of NASA, the lot of us. The first movie I could get our 5 year old son to watch all the way through was Apollo 13 (I needed him to sit still so I could cut his hair). Closed loops from an engineering perspective seem to be a near-total understanding of and appreciation for details and how to leverage them.


Ah yes, the ol’ Microsoft approach to changing a lightbulb: just redefine ‘dark’ as the new standard.


So just base it on ‘fast food’?

I guess the economic analysis would come down to eggs and cheese v toilet technology + digestive time divided by diarrhea over constipation. Let the engineering math flow


When you’re stuck in space for months at a time, the food better be tasty and diverse in presentation. There is probably not a whole lot else they get to look forward to.

Eating the same basic meals every day for months is something I can do, and something I have done. Yet I can’t even imagine eating flavorless nutrition paste for every meal, with no possibility of having anything different.


Frederick the Great (or Napoleon, if you subscribe to that school of thought) already knew that an army marches on its stomach.

There’s nothing that zaps morale more than bad food. Except wet and cold feet but luckily that isn’t a problem aboard a spaceship.

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Mushrooms. Surely the answer is mushrooms? You can raise them in all sorts of substrates (including dung), in the dark and their spores are hardy and easy to transport. Plus, they’re delicious.


Mushrooms were one of those foods that I ate day in day out for months. It wasn’t so bad, but it was a couple years before I ate mushrooms again.


Mushrooms as in Mark’s recipe for Lion’s Mane drinks sound good!
The deadpan in there of ‘what if not enough water to rehydrate’ has to be a kind’a showstopper, short of optimizing the astronauts to work much closer to 4 K temperatures…I mean, making the whole hydrogen budget for meals work out can be a thing, that’s kind of cooking hot just to get aqueous spidini. Oops, it’s scoped as a constant crew of 4 for 3-year mission, so maybe not so hot on compost space, maybe not 4 people’s 1200 days worth of veg. ready to thaw to handily replace a microbiome that may get blown out by antibiotics or face hugger issues.

Is that hard vacuum wheat ready yet, it’s been 35 s. already! I got the grinder set and spherical griddles all hot… Superheated steam/ solar wind/ reactor fildrocarb is fun to cook with! Hey easy with the mushroom un-digester, the syrup from those has an aftertaste.

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