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When we go to Mars, here's what we could eat on the way



National Geographic & # 39; s

Nat Geo has created Mars-inspired dishes for a luncheon in New York promoting her show, but astronauts are unlikely to actually eat these creations.

Kena Betancur / National Geographic / PictureGroup

In general, I have a ham sandwich for lunch. A few weeks ago, I mixed things up and took a waygu beef with a crater-shaped spinach ball, a kale salad with meteor-shaped croutons and a piece of chocolate printed In 3D.

The specialties were part of a menu inspired by Mars aimed at showing what astronauts could eat during the long journey to the Red Planet.

Yes, the food was delicious, although I was assured that nothing looked like the food that astronauts would eat during a mission on Mars. Nevertheless, current cooking research for a trip to this country points to problems that will go far beyond the matte paste of a tube.

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The New York lunch, organized while the excitement was mounting for NASA's InSight Mars satellite lands on Monday, celebrated the second season of Mars's Nat Geo network, which is both a fictional drama about astronauts creating a new life on Mars and a series of documentaries about research done as part of a mission to Mars.

Michele Perchonok, a food scientist who worked for NASA for 17 years, said the space organization was developing foods that would need to be used by astronauts on a 34-month round trip mission. the red planet.

"If the food is not acceptable, [astronauts] may not eat as much, "said Perchonok, a legitimate concern because astronauts need to eat to fully perform their tasks. All foods served in the space must comply with safety, food and taste standards. a shelf life of 5 to 7 years, she said, which is much longer than the 18-month shelf life of food on the International Space Station.

"You can anticipate that one of the menus could be a pasta sauce made with tomatoes, peppers and onions," Perchonok said, noting that cherry tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries are potentially usable with dwarf plants and a growth chamber.

National Geographic & # 39; s

Michele Perchonok is a food scientist who has worked for NASA for 17 years.

Kena Betancur / National Geographic / PictureGroup

Soybeans, oils, peanuts and other staples should also be able to travel.

Although early in its development, 3D printing could also be a boon for astronauts, said Perchonok, with the ability to cook ethnic dishes like curry using technology.

"Currently, the International Space Station offers Asian and Chinese dishes, Indian dishes, vegetarian dishes, Mexican dishes – there are already many, the question is, what variety do you need for a mission on Mars?" said Perchonok.

Perchonok knows that astronauts want to accomplish their missions: coffee. While attending a workshop during her NASA career, she had the opportunity to ask the Apollo astronauts how important it was for them to have hot water, and they made her to know that it was very, very important.

"Do not take off our coffee," they told him.

The second season of March National Geographic is currently broadcast on Monday at 21h on National Geographic.

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