From applesauce in a tube to 'space noodles,' here's how astronaut food has evolved from the 1960s to today
- When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon, they weren't treated to culinary delicacies on board the Apollo 11 spacecraft.
- Their meals consisted of beef and vegetables that had been dehydrated and stuffed into a package.
- Today's astronaut food is prepared similarly, but contains a lot more variety and flavor.
- In the future, astronauts could be able to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables in space.
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July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step onto the moon.
In the years since that crowning moment, the US space program has witnessed countless other achievements: the landing of a spacecraft on Mars, the launch of the Hubble telescope, and the permanent occupancy of the International Space Station.
It also also managed to improve the culinary experience for astronauts. While today's astronauts still eat packaged meals, their food has a lot more variety and flavor than what Armstrong and Aldrin ate in 1969.
Take a look at the evolution of astronaut food from the 1960s to now.
1962: John Glenn was the first American to eat in space. He had applesauce from a tube.
1960s: Tang's powdered formula became popular on US spaceflights.
1965: NASA dehydrated food and sealed it in plastic bags.
1964: Gemini space missions also included sugar cookies.
1969: The Apollo 11 astronauts ate packaged beef and veggies.
1971: Apollo 15 astronauts ate apricot bars on the Moon's surface.
1972: US astronauts were almost allowed to drink wine in space.
1973: NASA astronauts were served ice cream, but it wasn't the kind sold in gift shops.
1983: Astronauts on board NASA's ninth Space Shuttle mission ate rice pilaf.
2004: A pilot released a pocketful of M&Ms aboard SpaceShipOne.
2005: The "space noodle" was introduced in Japan.
2006: NASA adapted five recipes from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.
2011: Astronauts at the International Space Station eat from a set menu.
2015: NASA funded research to make food from astronaut poop.
2017: Astronauts at the International Space Station received a care package of Blue Bell ice cream and Snickers ice cream bars.
2019: Astronauts could eventually grow their own food using LED lights.
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