National Air and Space Museum©
In the Short Century (the Twentieth century, Eric J. Eric J. Hobsbawm, ndr) there was a Golden age when those who had managed to avoid the disastrous two decades that preceded them, because of the fear of the red man or of the one with the dollar, eagerly wanted to become a cosmonaut or an astronaut.
Now that the only earthmen in space are extremely intelligent robots who are observed and controlled from a distance of light years away, now that the Moon feels like something we already own, now that the Earth inhabitants scan the sky only in order to predict the disappearance of their planet, we discover the way the Apollo astronauts used to feed themselves when there was no gravity.
They had to find a corner, anchor themselves with some straps and try not to let the tray float away. The Apollo crew has never been able to enjoy a meal sitting around a table consuming the 2800 calories provided for each member. These freeze-dried portions were consumed with some kind of jolly autism, since everyone was supported by the awareness of being the authors of a national target: touch the moon with their feet.
Food was usually attached to the tray with Velcro tape, protected by a laminate covering which prevented food from flavour loss caused by oxygen infiltration.
The Apollo mission took away 34% of the Nasa funds, making 13 expeditions in space and only one was succesful.
The crew had to eat well. The red man, who called himself Cosmonaut, is progressing more and more (or he boasted about progressing), so good physical conditions and energy were simply essential.
Spacefood had to be hyper nutritious, light and as squeezable as possible. During the early Apollo project missions there was no refrigeration aboard: food had to be stored as long as possible.
Each crew member was supplied by three freeze-dried meals everyday, which he had to reconstruct with a micro-probe of water which gave 100ml of hot or cold water according to the request.
How was an astronaut’s menu like? Diced toasted bread, cereals, bacon, sandwiches, biscuits or crackers. And don’t forget canned meat and fruit juices.
Skylab, the lab where their equipment was developed, had fully designed everything, including packaging and functionality. At the beginning there were many energy juices, but towards the end of the Apollo project some pocket lunches could include an entire meal, but very minimalistic
If today the possibility to orbit is very remote, you can use your imagination while discovering the Smithsonian Institution which keeps all the gadgets and the tools that made the adventures of the reckless Golden Age men from the Short Century much easier.
If you think instead that because of the upcoming end of the world the life in space is going to be our future, we’ll teach you how to cook the “Seasoned Cornbread”, and pay attention to proportions and chemistry.
crumbled cornbread, 1 cup
chicken broth 1 cup
2 chopped onions
2 chopped stalks of celery
butter, unsalted 1 ¼ cups
salt ¾ teaspoon
black pepper ½ teaspoon
parsley flakes 2 teaspoons
Preheat convection oven to 180°. Grease a baking pan.
Peel onions and puree in food processor.
Then chop celery and add to onion puree.
Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Melt butter and sauté onion and celery mixture until soft (about 5 minutes). Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper, parsley and sage.
Add to cornbread-sautéed vegetable mixture.
Add chicken broth. Mix well. Spoon dressing into prepared baking pan.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes at 185°
For space flight preparation:
Baked dressing is transferred to metal tray and freeze-dried accordingly. One serving of cornbread dressing shall weigh approximately 145 g prior to freeze-drying and 50 g after freeze-drying.
n.b:Space Flight Food recipes are created using “formulations” instead of traditional recipes. This is because formulations are more “reproducible” than traditional recipes. Formulations use percentages and weights, which are exact measurements, as opposed to typical U.S. recipes that are more subjective and more susceptible to user errors.