Astronauts aboard the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) take pleasure in common meals identical to the remainder of us, although the microgravity circumstances imply that dinnertime in house is a bit of totally different to how it’s on terra firma.
Present ISS astronaut Megan McArthur this week shared a video exhibiting a current eating session along with her fellow house vacationers, with the footage revealing a full of life environment as everybody comes collectively to eat and share tales.
“Wanting ahead to a different Saturday in with good buddies, good laughs, and good house meals!” McArthur tweeted alongside the video.
Wanting ahead to a different #SaturdayIn with good buddies, good laughs, and good house meals! pic.twitter.com/yYPmB5mg6P
— Megan McArthur (@Astro_Megan) October 1, 2021
Whereas astronauts will typically eat dinner by themselves or in small teams in the course of the week, on Saturday nights they make a particular effort to squeeze across the similar desk to take pleasure in their meal collectively.
As you possibly can see within the video, the shortage of gravity implies that issues can get a bit chaotic at occasions, with meals floating off in all instructions earlier than it’s caught and returned to the desk — or eaten — by one of many astronauts.
“We love our Saturday dinner events on the house station,” McArthur says within the video.
A lot of the meals is available in heat-stabilized pouches or vacuum packs that requires scorching or chilly water to be added, however occasional treats are additionally delivered by way of spacecraft provide missions. For this dinner, such treats included cheese and hummus, possible delivered on a current SpaceX provide mission flown by one in all its Cargo Dragon spacecraft.
“Preparation varies with the meals sort,” NASA notes on its web site. “Some meals will be eaten of their pure types, equivalent to brownies and fruit. Different meals require including water, equivalent to macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. In fact, an oven is offered within the house station to warmth meals to the correct temperature. There are not any fridges in house, so house meals should be saved and ready correctly to keep away from spoilage, particularly on longer missions.”
Condiments like salt and pepper are additionally offered. However they solely are available liquid kind, as sprinkling them of their ordinary state would trigger the particles to drift away within the microgravity circumstances, probably clogging air vents, contaminating gear, or getting in astronauts’ eyes.
The house station eating regimen is designed by nutritionists who’ve to make sure the astronauts obtain a balanced provide of nutritional vitamins and minerals throughout stays on the ISS that often final round six months.
Lately astronauts have additionally been experimenting with cultivating greens on the ISS in an effort to turn into extra self-sufficient as an alternative of counting on provides from Earth. This is a vital objective if astronauts are ever to embark on long-duration missions to locations like Mars, and probably past.
For extra perception into how astronauts reside and work on the house station, check out these movies created by inhabitants of the orbiting outpost through the years.