Astronauts aboard the Worldwide House Station (ISS) take pleasure in common meals identical to the remainder of us, although the microgravity circumstances imply that dinnertime in area is a bit of totally different to how it’s on terra firma.
Present ISS astronaut Megan McArthur this week shared a video exhibiting a latest eating session along with her fellow area vacationers, with the footage revealing a full of life ambiance as everybody comes collectively to eat and share tales.
“Wanting ahead to a different Saturday in with good pals, good laughs, and good area meals!” McArthur tweeted alongside the video.
— Megan McArthur (@Astro_Megan) October 1, 2021
Whereas astronauts will typically eat dinner by themselves or in small teams in the course of the week, on Saturday nights they make a particular effort to squeeze across the similar desk to take pleasure in their meal collectively.
As you’ll be able to see within the video, the dearth of gravity implies that issues can get a bit chaotic at instances, with meals floating off in all instructions earlier than it’s caught and returned to the desk — or eaten — by one of many astronauts.
“We love our Saturday dinner events on the area station,” McArthur says within the video.
A lot of the meals is available in heat-stabilized pouches or vacuum packs that requires scorching or chilly water to be added, however occasional treats are additionally delivered by way of spacecraft provide missions. For this dinner, such treats included cheese and hummus, probably delivered on a latest SpaceX provide mission flown by certainly one of its Cargo Dragon spacecraft.
“Preparation varies with the meals kind,” NASA notes on its web site. “Some meals may be eaten of their pure varieties, equivalent to brownies and fruit. Different meals require including water, equivalent to macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. In fact, an oven is supplied within the area station to warmth meals to the correct temperature. There aren’t any fridges in area, so area meals have to be saved and ready correctly to keep away from spoilage, particularly on longer missions.”
Condiments like salt and pepper are additionally supplied. However they solely are available in liquid type, as sprinkling them of their standard state would trigger the particles to drift away within the microgravity circumstances, presumably clogging air vents, contaminating gear, or getting in astronauts’ eyes.
The area station weight-reduction plan is designed by nutritionists who’ve to make sure the astronauts obtain a balanced provide of nutritional vitamins and minerals throughout stays on the ISS that normally final round six months.
In recent times astronauts have additionally been experimenting with cultivating greens on the ISS in an effort to develop into extra self-sufficient as an alternative of counting on provides from Earth. This is a crucial aim if astronauts are ever to embark on long-duration missions to locations like Mars, and presumably past.
For extra perception into how astronauts reside and work on the area station, check out these movies created by inhabitants of the orbiting outpost over time.