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ISS Food Shortage Cause Revealed 257

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the keep-your-hands-off-my-dehydrated-consume dept.
Dan East writes "As previously reported on Slashdot, the two-man crew of the ISS had to ration food intake because the food supply had run mysteriously low. At a recent press release the reason for the shortage was revealed: the previous ISS crew consumed food meant for the other crew. "They had permission to do that but did not record how much they had eaten"."
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ISS Food Shortage Cause Revealed

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  • they did! yum :-)
  • by nizo (81281) * on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:01PM (#11220927) Homepage Journal
    The two U.S. and Russian astronauts on the International Space Station had to rely on a candy-laden diet for five weeks because their predecessors raided the pantry. "Both of us ended up losing a few pounds," U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao said in a news conference from the station on Wednesday.

    I can see it now, the new "candy only space station" diet fad. I can't wait to see how many pounds I lost after eating fudge and chocolate for the past two weeks.

    • Candy? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by exhilaration (587191)
      Hmmmm... you know what would suck, getting a cavity or a painful toothache while in orbit.
      • Re:Candy? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        you know what would suck, getting a cavity or a painful toothache while in orbit.

        More than you'd think. Cavities are extremely sensitive to pressure changes, if the pressure outside them drops, the air inside them can crack the tooth at worst, or hurt a whole hell of a lot as it expands at best.
    • by ackthpt (218170)
      I can see it now, the new "candy only space station" diet fad. I can't wait to see how many pounds I lost after eating fudge and chocolate for the past two weeks.

      Call it the Dentist Diet, because you'll lose a few teeth to it, too and maybe develope diabetes.

      i can just see it, paris hilton showing great care and concern for all the unfortunate spacers, just before she goes down on ... uh ... a big candy cane.

      • Re:New fad diet (Score:4, Informative)

        by Rolo Tomasi (538414) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:40PM (#11221294) Homepage Journal
        You don't get diabetes from eating lots of sweet stuff. Obesity is a risk factor though.
        • You can, however, put yourself into a diabetic coma by eating too much sweet stuff - though that's not the same as having diabetes.

          I heard once that it used to be commonplace to "punish" kids who stole candy by making them eat a bowl of sugar, kind of like the "im going to watch you smoke every one of these!" ploy. More than one kid was put into a coma, or died as a result.

          Yeah, you can OD on sugar.
        • Re:New fad diet (Score:5, Interesting)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:04PM (#11221525) Homepage Journal

          You don't get diabetes from eating lots of sweet stuff. Obesity is a risk factor though.

          I wouldn't be so sure. Some research indicates that making heavy demands on your pancreas can "burn it out." When you eat carbs (any carbs) your pancreas produces insulin to manage the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose. The more "pure" the carbohydrate the more easily processed it is, which means it happens more rapidly -- meaning, in turn, that your pancreas gas to work harder to produce more insulin.

          The problem of youth diabetes was basically unheard of in this country until the USDA published the "food pyramid" on the advice of the NIH and we started consuming more carbohydrates and less protein. Correlation does not in itself imply causation but there's just too much evidence for it to be coincidence. The kids who are contracting diabetes aren't all obese either though conspicuous consumption of candy or even white bread will make you fat a lot quicker than eating lots of meat...

          • Re:New fad diet (Score:2, Interesting)

            by oliverthered (187439)
            Fat is better for you than short chain carbs too.
            1: It doesn't require insuline to turn it into fat.
            2: It's digested slower, so not so much of it gets stored as fat.
            3: Because fats are absorbed slower you don't get the craving you do with carbs, so fat is less adictive.
            4: Carbohydrates produce a transitionaly type of cholesterol that causes the formation of HDL? cholesterol.

            I looked all this up about 5 years ago because I have heart problems in my family, sweets are worse for you than a block of lard, and
            • Well, actually, it's not why atkins works - atkins works because it puts you into ketosis, not to be confused with ketoacidosis which is often a problem for diabetics. In ketosis you don't store fat (period) and your rate of lean muscle loss is slowed. Your brain runs on ketones instead of glucose, which I am told is more efficient, though I'm not sure that part matters. You're quite right about the many drawbacks of carbs, though.
            • and this is why the Atkins diet works.

              Actually Atkins works based on good-old-fashioned calorie restriction [rangelmd.com]. Some other posts here talk about some of the low-glucose adaptation mechanisms, but that's an accomodation, not the vector for weight loss.

              If there's a truth in weight loss it's "calories in minus calories out". Eating high-fat foods makes you feel fuller so you eat less. Maybe while hurting your kidneys, the jury's still out.

              The one time I needed to drop 30 pounds I biked 60 miles a day and
          • Some research indicates that making heavy demands on your pancreas can "burn it out."

            If you have any pointers they'd be appreciated. I have a friend who just lost 30 pounds in a couple months by loading > 400mg of caffeine a day plus a gram of mixed pyruvataes and just now got home from the hospital from losing 2/3 of her pancreas. The timing could be cooincidental but it seems unlikely.
        • You don't get diabetes from eating lots of sweet stuff.

          What was once considered true, then a myth, is now potentially true [vh.org] again.

    • The two U.S. and Russian astronauts on the International Space Station had to rely on a candy-laden diet for five weeks because their predecessors raided the pantry. "Both of us ended up losing a few pounds," U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao said in a news conference from the station on Wednesday.

      I guess we know which option they probably wouldn't be selecting in the poll [slashdot.org] at this point.

    • by PoopJuggler (688445) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:18PM (#11221089)
      This will morph into some sort of Low-Carb Cannibalism Diet when they really run out of food...
    • Weight loss probably caused from muscle loss, not fat, since candies (as I understand) are mostly carbohydrates (sugare) and fat.

    • by hawk (1151)
      And you thought that earth-bound roommates were a hassle . . .

      hawk
  • by teiresias (101481) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:02PM (#11220936)
    I thought they had sturgeon aplenty aboard space stations.
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:03PM (#11220949) Homepage Journal
    The previous crew beat up the current crew for their lunch money.

    vice president cheney was appalled, "that should have gone to halliburton!"

  • I can really relate, I've had roommates eat my food before. Grazing for food was practically a sport in some of the houses which I have lived.
    • I can really relate, I've had roommates eat my food before. Grazing for food was practically a sport in some of the houses which I have lived.

      Wait until that shit's happening in your workplace and see how people feel about it.

      At a job, years ago, someone pinched a woman's food and she sent out a decidely angry company-wide email, threatening to put rat poison in her food next time. It was all rather amusing, especially when the execs tried to play it down with a follow-up email

      can't we all just get alo

    • This reminds me of growing up with my sibs. My brother would come home from school and take out the big salad bowl. Into that went a whole box of cereal and a half gallon of milk. That was just the after school snack. Mom would only shop on Saturdays so in general the cupboards were bare by Thursday. How he didn't end up 500+ pounds is beyond me. I of course only weighed about 140 pounds when I graduated highschool. I don't think I ever saw a leftover until I was 15 (when he went away to college). M
  • heh (Score:4, Funny)

    by boschmorden (610937) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:04PM (#11220963)
    the astronauts should have done a better job labeling the food in the fridge! damn, i hate when people eat my food at work that i put in there.
    • Re:heh (Score:2, Funny)

      by bwy (726112)
      Nah, they just need a space station linebacker. Perhaps Terry Tate, office linebacker, has a brother or something in need of work.
  • by tsmithnj (738472) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:04PM (#11220965)
    ...the refridge was an older 16-bit model
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:05PM (#11220973)
    Wait wait wait.

    You mean the food is missing because someone ate it?

    It wasn't an advanced plasma-based alien civilization surrounding the ship and impregnating it with mysterious "digester rays" that convert protein into a subatomic substance capable of passing through metal? So they could slowly feed their young without being noticed?

    And it's not the case that the crew's flesh is immune to this only because of a freak coincidence based on the structure of their nylon garments and a compound exuded by the human body when weightless?

    And that even as I type this the hungry life forms are growing and preparing to use the same mysterious force in reverse to manifest themselves before the shocked and frightened crew? Broadcast live around the globe so we may all be terrified to witness a strange new life form consume the human astronauts before our very eyes like drinking juice through a straw, leaving the indigestible compounds suspended in midair suggesting just the shape of a former living, breathing human before disappating to the four corners of the ship as surviving crew members weep and pull heir hair in terror, not wanting to be the next to issue the blood-curdling screams?

    I think they should double-check. Just in case.
  • We can't just 'order a pizza' up here!
    And this 'air cassarole' isn't gonna tide me over much longer! When I get back down there its knucle sandwiches for all of ya!
  • Youre telling me an entire, $X billion space station could possibly been lost cause the last guys in the place ate too much?

    Youd think thered be better safeguards for that kind of stuff....Meh.

    -thewldisntenuff
  • Because... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:07PM (#11220989)
    In space, no-one can hear your stomach rumble
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is a small thing, logistics that are highly important and yet the management at NASA was able to completely screw it up.

    I have a great Idea, let's sell NASA to a private company, maybe they would have the balls to continue into space and do their jobs instead of screwing around with politics and allow the engineers and scientists to do their jobs?

    cripes, sending a crew to the ISS and not making sure there is enough food? Now I would be concerned by the water supplies and Oxygen up there, if the NASA
    • let's sell NASA to a private company, maybe they would have the balls to continue into space and do their jobs instead of screwing around with politics and allow the engineers and scientists to do their jobs?

      So why aren't there any private space stations again?
  • by sci50514 (722502) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:09PM (#11221009)
    the previous ISS crew are Americ... never mind.... :)
    • by iocat (572367)
      The previous crew [w5rrr.org] were Gennady Padalka (RN3DT) and Edward "Fat Mike" Fincke (KE5AIT).

      Reality is, it's easy to blame the last crew, but it might have been the cumulative effects of multiple crews' snacking.

      • by Zak3056 (69287) * on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:56PM (#11222039) Journal
        The previous crew were Gennady Padalka (RN3DT) and Edward "Fat Mike" Fincke (KE5AIT).

        Let me get this straight... they had a guy named Fat Mike aboard, and it took them this freaking long to determine that the previous crew ate the missing food?! One would think the obvious first question would be, "Hey Fat Mike, did you eat all the food on the ISS?"

        • I don't see "Fat Mike" anywhere, neither in TFA or in the page referenced in the grandparent, and google has no hits for "Fat Mike" Finke.

          That having been said, take every other letter in his designation to get EAT.

    • Re:not surprising... (Score:3, Informative)

      by AbbyNormal (216235)
      Now now, if you want to get technical, the previous crew consisted of 2 Europeans and 1 American.

      See here" [nasa.gov] for more information.
  • I bet that the russians are back home reading this article and saying something like damn capitalist pigs!

    :-) Cheers,
    Adolfo
  • by l2718 (514756) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:11PM (#11221039)

    The previous crew "had permission to [eat the food] but did not record how much they had eaten".

    Used to be NASA was the most anal-retentive organization in the world. Their safety record and results were nothing short of amazing. Then they made the (right, IMHO) decision to do things more cheaply with the understanding that things won't always work out.

    However, is this a good way to run manned missions?
    • I think it's naive to assume you can't be both anal-retentive and economical.

      NASA's problem is that the organization has been orphaned by administrations that have no love for science, and it has therefore morphed into a political/business entity that is no longer capable of even accomplishing what it did in the 60s.
  • Filming the next season of "The Biggest Loser" there was a really bad idea!
  • by jzarling (600712) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:13PM (#11221056)
    No ever ever drank my beer but it was always gone....
  • oh great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bludstone (103539) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:14PM (#11221060)
    This will do wonders to combat the stereotype of americans as lazy fatasses.

    Unfortunatly, the stereotype is fairly true. Its a serious health epidemic.
    • by eht (8912)
      Where is it said the previous crew was Americans?

      This is the ISS, international Space Station.

      The current crew that had to eat desserts and candy is Russian and US and they ended up losing a few pounds.
  • I was hoping they'd find space-adapted rats...
  • My roomates (Score:2, Funny)

    by Momoru (837801)
    This totally happened with me and my old roomates, thats why you gotta put your name on those food packets or Vladimir will totally eat your liquid potato chips when he gets high.
    • Someone drank all my soda!
      Did they have your name on it.
      No, but why is someone taking something they didn't bring? I mean If they didn't bring it, then they must know it is not theirs! the fact that they don't know whose it is is irrelevant.

      Conversation I had after a whole six pack of code was gone in less then 2 minutes. At work.

      The next day I brought in a dorm fridges any put it under my desk.

  • by ewanrg (446949) <ewan.grantham@RA ... minus herbivore> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:27PM (#11221161) Homepage
    What I find interesting was that the previous crew hadn't snacked in the traditional sense - but had actually eaten more "good" food and left the snacks behind.

    Which brings up the question of whether you get more cravings for calcium and protein as the body reacts to the effects of zero-g, or if it just says something about the preferences of the previous crew?

    FWIW,
    Ewan

    ---

    Yes I have a blog [blogspot.com] - deal with it :-)

  • by Gudlyf (544445) <[gudlyf] [at] [realistek.com]> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:29PM (#11221185) Homepage Journal
    ...it's a space station.
  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:30PM (#11221193) Homepage
    If the ISS crew can't be trusted to restrain their appetites, what's going to happen on a trip to Mars (where half the crew might be in suspended animation)? Donner Party Cookbook [prweb.com]
  • by mrux (776110)
    the previous ISS crew consumed food meant for the other crew. "They had permission to do that but did not record how much they had eaten".

    Now THAT'S not rocket science.
    Rocket science is for getting you to the empty cupboard.

  • ...but who would believe those dirty Russians so let's just call this a revelation today. Reuters aricle from the Dec 10th [reuters.co.uk].

  • Always drinking your last beer...
  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer@alum.miPARISt.edu minus city> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:42PM (#11221304) Homepage

    This is obviously a training problem. Nobody showed them how to run the food synthesizer. They've been standard in Federation starships since the 1960s.

  • Wait, was it pounds or kilograms of snacky cakes?

    Shit. This is why we never should have strayed from the universal "50 turns of our Queens stomach" measurement system.

    jk, I love Nasa, just like smart ass remarks slightly more.
  • by rewt66 (738525) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:49PM (#11221353)
    It was a bean-counting error?
  • by ryanvm (247662) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:51PM (#11221374)
    So was this [springfieldparadise.com] the previous crew?
  • The fabulously beautiful space station ISS is now so worried about the cumulative erosion caused by two visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the space station is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt!
  • Come on Taco! How about it? Can we get an interview with the ISS crew?

  • The Americans were testing the effects of Medical Marijuana in space. Consequently, it was necessary to measure how weightlessness affects the munchies. Of course they didn't remember how much they ate.. they were stoned. Dude... We're high *and* we're high! Now where did that freeze dried ice cream go?
  • Why not set up a hydroponic section for beans and soybeans and stuff? That'd let the guys suppliment their diet with a good supply of veggies in case the last crew sucks in the food supply like a black hole.
  • Put this story together with the other Slashdot story earlier today about the Russians making the Americans pay for their astronauts (ie no more 'free ride'), and it all becomes clear....
  • "Oh Dang...
    No Tang."
  • by Ranger (1783)
    Too keep them from eating your food simply have them stock the larder with things only you will eat like sour cream herring or fruitcake ( though it's been rumored that fruitcake has been banned from orbit because it can survive reentry and used as a kinetic energy weapon. Or better yet put something unidentifiable in the food stores. As the esteemed philosopher George Carlin would say "Could be meat. Could be cake? It's meatcake!"

    "Are you going to eat that?"
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @05:26PM (#11222272) Homepage Journal
    rfid system, they could automate their inventory.

    I'll be happy to design for free! As long as I can only do onsite repairs, and they pay for the commute.
  • Not a burger was left!

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