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floating breakfast photoIn "I Was A Spaceman," Jerry Linenger describes how he completely adapted to weightlessness during his five months aboard the space station Mir. "I did not see floor-ceiling-walls," Linenger tells Alan. "I saw volume, and I was as comfortable upside down on the ceiling as I am standing here talking." But no matter how thoroughly an astronaut adjusts to life off the planet, microgravity does make some every day activities pretty challenging. We take for granted the fact that on Earth, our dinner obediently stays on the table while we eat. But how do they eat peas in space? In the forty years since humans first left the planet, astronauts and engineers have come up with a variety of methods for keeping space explorers as well fed, clean and comfortable as possible.
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Space Food

photo of John Glenn
John Glenn aboard the Friendship 7, February 1962  

When John Glenn left the planet aboard the Friendship 7 in 1961, he not only became the first American in space, he also became the first American to eat in space. Before Glenn's voyage, scientists weren't sure humans could even swallow without the aid of gravity. Glenn had no problem swallowing the applesauce he squeezed like toothpaste from an aluminum tube.




Shuttle/ MIR menus


But he and other astronauts did have problems with the taste of their squeeze-tube diets, which included items as unappetizing as pureed beef stew. In the intervening 40 years, scientists at NASA and major food companies have developed nutritious and varied space menus.
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Photos: NASA

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