Forty-five years ago, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made history when they reached the moon. The anniversary has prompted us to reminisce about this cosmic achievement. But mostly, it made us wonder — what do astronauts eat?
The 1969 press kit for the eight-day-long Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Mission is more than 200 pages long and includes a painstaking account of the mission. The packet lists the phases of the journey, diagrams of the spacecraft, illustrations of Apollo 11’s ejection and recovery, and more. It also offers a detailed list of what each astronaut ate on a daily basis.
In addition to “orange” and “grape” drink, the astronauts survived on starchy and sugary comfort foods, including quite a bit of bacon:
The astronauts also had access to a snack pantry which allowed the crew to “locate easily a food item in a smorgasbord mode.” The snacks were basically single servings of the meal components, according to the press kit.
Although the food sounds appetizing (to some) the preparation instructions make it seem… less so. Crew members had to inject water into the food bag and knead it for about three minutes, before “the bag neck is… cut off and the food squeezed into the crewman’s mouth,” according to NASA.
And it looks like this:
Thankfully, for astronauts, space cuisine has changed since the 1960s.
Now, astronauts on the International Space Station eat meals on a 16-day cycle, and receive periodic shipments of fresh fruit.
(All images courtesy of NASA. Press kit h/t Allison Kelly)