- The Orion spacecraft, is a heavy exploration vehicle that takes its crew to space and ensures a safe return to the earth.
- NASA's challenge is to develop food that is rich in nutrients, as well as calories required to keep astronauts hail and healthy during the entire mission.
- One calorie rich breakfast food bar can help reduce clutter in the spacecraft and also meet the astonauts nutrition requirements.
Orion spacecraft has little room to accommodate food supplies. Providing food to the crew is a constant challenge for scientists at NASA and they are consistently working towards providing astronauts with the required food for their space travels.
Orion, The Spacecraft
Orion serves as an exploration vehicle that takes the crew to space, sustains the crew during the travel to space and provides safe return to the earth from deep space.
‘It’s no small task to design a food bar which is rich in calories and at the same time nutritious.’
The International Space Station (ISS) crew members can choose from about 200 items for their meals and have also the space to store.
Astronauts on Orion spacecraft will have to take the necessary supplies and required amount of food needed throughout the deep space mission, as the possibility of re-supplying is not possible.
Orion is a heavy spacecraft. To reach its final destination the required amounts of fuel and energy is more.
Formulation of Food Bars
Food that is highly enriched with nutrients and calories is required to keep the astronauts hail and healthy.
A variety of food bars are being developed for breakfast by the NASA's scientists for the astronauts onboard of Orion spacecraft, who travel and to explore deep space destinations beyond the moon.
"We've taken a look at how to get some mass savings by reducing how we're packaging and stowing what the crew would eat for breakfast for early Orion flights," said Vos.
Developing a single calorically dense breakfast food can help meet mass reduction requirements, say food scientists of NASA.
"When you think about multi-week missions in Orion, having just one package for breakfast items for crew will help us limit the space we need to store them," said Vos.
Goals to be Achieved
NASA's Human Research Programme testing on crew members is being carried out in HERA, the agency's three-story building that has isolated conditions which are needed for the research.
Food items in the space station menu will be same to the Orion crew members for lunch and dinner.
To reduce the space for storing breakfast as it's the first meal of the day, the goal is to formulate various flavors of food bars which include orange, cranberry or barbeque nut.
"There's no commercially-available bar right now that meets our needs, so we've had to go design something that will work for the crew, while trying to achieve a multi-year shelf-life," said Sirmons.