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Mars ISS NASA Space Science

NASA Working on Mars Menu 220

DevotedSkeptic writes in with a story about the work going into feeding astronauts on a mission to Mars. "The menu must sustain a group of six to eight astronauts, keep them healthy and happy and also offer a broad array of food. That's no simple feat considering it will likely take six months to get to the Red Planet, astronauts will have to stay there 18 months and then it will take another six months to return to Earth. Imagine having to shop for a family's three-year supply of groceries all at once and having enough meals planned in advance for that length of time. 'Mars is different just because it's so far away,' said Maya Cooper, a senior research scientist with Lockheed Martin who is leading the efforts to build the menu. 'We don't have the option to send a vehicle every six months and send more food as we do for the International Space Station.'"
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NASA Working on Mars Menu

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  • by drkim ( 1559875 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @06:51AM (#41245559)

    "the lack of gravity means smell - and taste - is impaired. So the food is bland."


    How come nobody else reading Slashdot noticed this ludicrous statement? How can a lack of gravity "impair" smell? Do they mean the SENSE of smell or taste? What are they talking about?

    This is correct. Your sense of taste and smell is diminished in zero G. You start slopping on the hot sauce pretty heavily.
    Also you start to notice a sweet, metallic smell everywhere you go.

    They haven't quite figured out why this happens yet, but since we are essentially big bags of water, and in zero G our internal fluid pressure changes, that may upset the way fluids move through our mucosa.

  • Re:MREs (Score:3, Informative)

    by zerotorr ( 729953 ) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @12:16PM (#41249313)
    I'm not sure why this got moderated as funny. Alot of time and research has already gone into long term food preparation/storage for the military services. I've lived off them solely for a few months, and while that's not three years, it's not unimaginable. Now, they've faced alot of criticism, but they were never intended to replace 5 star restaurants, or even your grandmother's cooking. Also, much of that criticism is from the military... and anyone who's served knows that complaining is most every soldier's favorite pastime (me included). And for christ's sake... you're going to Mars! I'd suffer a little lack of flavoring for that opportunity.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.