The first person to eat in outer space (and the first human to venture there) was Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, who orbited earth on board the Vostok 1 in April 1961. Gagarin ate beef and liver paste squeezed from a tube, followed by chocolate sauce for dessert. Glenn's meal on board Friendship 7 in February 1962 was similarly unappetizing. The astronaut consumed applesauce and pureed beef and vegetables from a toothpaste-like tube. He also drank xylose sugar tablets dissolved in water. The artificial drink Tang wasn't very popular when it was released in 1959, but it turned out to be the ideal formula for astronauts since it could be mixed with water. Starting in the 1960s, the drink became so popular on NASA flights, it generated a myth that the product was developed for space. Though John Glenn brought the drink along on his 1962 flight, the astronaut later admitted he didn't enjoy it very much. But Tang in space doesn't look the same as Tang on the ground. It's sealed in a pouch that astronauts inject with water using a needle. They then sip the mixture — which is labeled orange drink or peach mango drink instead of Tang — through a straw. NASA's Gemini program conducted its first manned flight in 1965. In preparation for that launch, NASA began dehydrating food and sealing it in plastic bags. The bags were labeled with instructions on how to rehydrate the food in space using water. Food items prepared for Gemini astronauts included scrambled eggs, shrimp with cocktail sauce, curried chicken, and raisin rice pudding. Drinks included coffee, grape juice, and milk. Since weightless astronauts exerted less energy in space, meals contained fewer calories compared to what the astronauts were used to eating on earth. On average, the food consisted of 17% protein, 32% fat, and 51% carbohydrates. To satisfy their sweet tooth, Gemini astronauts were given cubed sugar cookies designed to be eaten in a single bite. The cookies were coated in gelatin to prevent crumbs, which could clog electrical systems or air filters. Astronaut Virgil Grissom learned this firsthand when he tried to eat a regular corned beef sandwich on rye during a Gemini mission. The gelatin coating also kept the food from spoiling and preserved the flavor, though the astronauts still found their meals bland and lacking in texture. Apollo astronauts were the first to have hot water and eat their packaged food with a spoon. While on board Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were reportedly served beef and vegetables, pork with potato scallops, and Canadian bacon and apple sauce — all out of a package. The meals were color-coded, individually wrapped, and labeled for each day. If something went wrong, such as the cabin losing pressure, the astronauts had a back-up food source that would feed them through a port in their helmet, ensuring they wouldn't have to take off their suits.Apollo 15 was the fourth US Apollo mission to land on the moon. While the astronauts worked long hours collecting surface material, they reportedly snacked on apricot bars, which were also served on Apollo 17. Apollo 15 introduced new foods like beef steaks and hamburgers that were thermostabilized, or preserved by heat. Food packages came with a sulfate tablet to prevent them from spoiling, but some of them went uneaten. Read more: Here is every Apollo mission explainedIn 1972, astronaut food was still somewhat bleak, so NASA briefly toyed with the idea of introducing wine to its menu. The organization designated a space sommelier, who determined that sherry was the best option, since it wouldn't succumb drastically to changes in temperature. Almost as soon as the idea came about, it was cut short due to public outcry — and indifference from many of the astronauts. Still, some astronauts were permitted to drink the packaged sherry during a pre-flight training exercise.Science museums are known to feature freeze-dried astronaut ice cream in their gift shops, but the concoction likely never made it to space. Whirlpool developed the product for the Apollo missions, but since there were no freezers, the substance would have been too crumbly to eat. That all changed with NASA's 1973 Skylab mission, which was equipped with a refrigerator. The astronauts on board ate normal ice cream, not the freeze-dried substance.NASA's Space Shuttle program launched crews into space for three decades (1981 to 2011). During the ninth Space Shuttle mission in 1983, astronauts ate from trays containing foods like meatballs with barbecue sauce, rice pilaf and Italian beans, and thermostabilized chocolate pudding. Starting in around 1985, astronauts were given flour tortillas, which helped solved the breadcrumb issue. To make it easier to season their food, they were also given liquid pepper and salt. To top it off, Space Shuttle astronauts had access to a fresh food locker with fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, carrots, and celery sticks. Chocolate has long been a favorite item among US astronauts. In 2015, the manager of the Space Food Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center told Smithsonian that NASA astronauts request chocolate on pretty much every flight. In 2004, pilot Mike Melvill advanced this trend while operating SpaceShipOne, an experimental aircraft that retired that same year. I reached into my pocket and I took out some M&Ms, all different colors, and let them go in front of my face, Melvill said at a press conference after the flight. And they just spun around like little sparkling things. I was so blown away, I couldn't even fly the [craft].The Japanese food company Nissin released the first instant ramen noodles in 1958. Decades later, the company delivered a similar product for astronauts under the name Space Ram. In 2005, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi brought the noodles to space for the first time. Astronauts from the 2006 Space Shuttle Discovery launch received personalized menus based on their favorite foods. NASA even enlisted celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse to come up with a few recipes. NASA ultimately chose five of Lagasse's dishes to send into space: Mardi Gras jambalaya, mashed potatoes with bacon, green beans with garlic, rice pudding, and mixed fruit. In a press release, astronaut Jeff Williams said he liked the spiciness of the jambalaya, since an astronaut's perception of taste is a little bit decreased in space.The first long-term residents of the International Space Station (ISS) arrived in November 2000. At that time, NASA thought it could personalize foods like it did for the Space Shuttle program. The plan turned out to be difficult, since NASA sends its cargo shipments separately from the astronauts, preventing crew members from receiving their food choices on time. The organization now offers a nutritionally-balanced menu with around 200 foods and beverages so astronauts still have some variety. Read more: NASA says it will open the space station to tourists, at a cost of about $35,000 per nightA trip to Mars would take longer than the typical stay on the International Space Station. To prepare for this scenario, NASA has considered whether astronauts would be able to sustain themselves by eating their own feces. In 2005, the organization offered chemists and bio-engineers at Clemson University $200,000 a year to research whether human waste could be recycled into space food.SpaceX's Dragon capsule has the ability to transport objects to and from the International Space Station. In 2017, the spacecraft delivered Blue Bell ice cream and Snickers ice cream bars to astronauts living on the artificial satellite. In addition to the occasional sweet treat, today's astronauts eat the traditional three meals per day. Meals are typically dehydrated, freeze-dried, or thermostabilized, then labeled and stored in locker trays.NASA plans to build a moon-orbiting space station known as the Gateway with the goal of achieving a moon landing by 2024. One of the prototypes for this new station includes a space garden that can grow a head of lettuce in 24 days using LED lights. The garden can also produce strawberries, carrots, and potatoes without requiring much water. In 2005, astronauts at the International Space Station proved this could be done by growing romaine lettuce. Though astronaut food hasn't evolved much from its thermostabilized, freeze-dried history, growing fresh food could drastically improve diets in outer space.