U.S. astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will be eating turkey this Thanksgiving.
Astronauts will share a nice meal of sliced turkey, green beans, sweat tea, mashed potatoes and candied yams. Dessert will be both apricot and blueberry cobbler, arranged and put into pouches by scientists at Texas A&M University.
In a video directly from the ISS, mission commander Robert S. Kimbrough said that he and Peggy Whitson, the only other American currently on the station, will share Thanksgiving dinner with French astronaut Thomas Pesquet as well as three Russian cosmonauts. NASA will also make special arrangements to beam live football games up to the space station.
The space station crew will eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but there’s nothing traditional about how they prepare it! pic.twitter.com/QHBtOe3s92
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) November 22, 2016
In another video published by Texas A&M university Chancellor John Sharp, food scientist Ben O’Neill and former Space Shuttle astronaut turned aerospace engineering professor Bonnie Dunbar demonstrate how food for astronauts is made.
“The food that is consumed in space, including at the International Space Station right now, is made right here on the West Campus at Texas A&M University,” Sharp said in the video. “And these are some of the samples of that.”
The University produces NASA’s ready-to-eat meal packages, heat-sealing them and running the food through a heat-processing step to sterilize the food inside the pouch — because of this step, the food has a very long shelf life.
Dunbar noted that the meat in the dinner is actually “quite good” as every astronaut on the ISS consumes food specifically arranged only for them that comes in a pouch to keep it from floating around in free-fall.
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