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A Guide To What Astronauts Actually Eat In Space
So you're on your intergalactic journey, whizzing through the universe powered by a multi-million dollar spaceship but then suddenly, without warning, you get the munchies.
What's an astronaut to do?
Well thankfully NASA's very own Space Food Systems Laboratory (SFSL) is there to come to your rescue. They're the team who are tasked with "creating" food products that are "appetizing, nutritious, and safe and easy to prepare and eat" because lets face it, when you're orbiting the cosmos - 5 star dining is more than a little hard to come by.
Interestingly enough, when you're in zero gravity your senses are virtually non-existent. So things like smell & taste are muted to the point where it appears as if you're eating nothing but dried cardboard. To counteract this, NASA has increased the level of flavour enhancers and spice in the food itself - so you can have some semblance as to the taste of " what appears to be spicy chicken".
Due to the long duration of space travel (most astronauts spend months hovering around our planet) the food is loaded with preservatives and then freeze-dried to lock in the flavour and nutrients. And then finally, bound, wrapped and fused into place in a series of plastic packs and rubberized containers - hardly enterprising you have to admit, but when you're all alone in the vastness of space desperately needing a snack, who cares?