NASA Scientists Are Developing Tasty Bars For People In Space

From the previous news, we know that the astronauts on the International Space Station get to feast on turkey and candied yams this Thanksgiving. While deep-space travelers on NASA's future Orion mission may chow down on retro food bars. Because there is limited space inside the Orion capsule, NASA food scientists at the Human Research Program (HRP) are working to reduce the amount of food and supplies astronauts need for longer trips. As a result, the scientists have developed high-calorie food bars that astronauts can substitute for breakfast. The researchers described this work in a new video.

The Orion Spacecraft

The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is an American spacecraft intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at or beyond lw Earth orbit (LEO). Currently, under development by NASA for launch on the Space Launch System, Orion is intended to facilitate human exploration of asteroids and of Mars and to retrieve crew or supplies from the ISS if needed. NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel.

NASA Scientists Are Developing Tasty Bars For People In Space

According to NASA, unlike the ISS, Orion spacecraft has limited room inside it to accommodate the supplies and food astronauts will need during their missions. Because flights to deep space will not rely on resupply spacecraft to deliver what astronauts need and dispose of trash, the Orion crew will have to take everything they need with them and bring it all back home. Given the distances Orion will travel, teams also must limit Orion’s mass, since a heavier spacecraft requires more fuel and energy to propel it to its ultimate destination.

“When you have 700 to 900 calories of something, it’s going to have some mass regardless of what shape it’s in, so we’ve taken a look at how to get some mass savings by reducing how we’re packaging and stowing what the crew would eat for breakfast for early Orion flights with crew,” said Jessica Vos, deputy health and medical technical authority for Orion. “When you think about multi-week missions in Orion, having just one package for breakfast items for crew will help us limit the space we need to store them.”

As reported by Space, so far, scientists have created a variety of flavors, including banana nut, orange cranberry, ginger vanilla and barbecue nut. Each bar is approximately 700 to 800 calories, thus ensuring the astronauts maintain a healthy weight as they eat the tasty snack. What's more, creating this single-meal replacement could help Orion engineers meet mass reduction requirements for the spacecraft.


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