The Menu on Mars
Scientists are planning a mock mission to Mars called HI-SEAS to study how best to feed astronauts living in a future Mars outpost.
Participants preparing for a mock mission to Mars take cooking lessons for the journey at a Cornell University kitchen lab.
Cooking on the Hi-Seas
The Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue & Simulation (HI-SEAS) project will study how best to feed astronauts en route to Mars and after they arrive.
Mock Mars mission participants were chosen to be as "astronaut-like" as possible, which includes the requirement of a science background. Some even applied to be NASA astronauts, and a current NASA astronaut, Yvonne Cagle, is advising the project.
The HI-SEAS participants will be eating a mix of instant meals and foods they cook themselves from shelf-stable ingredients.
Not Just Spam
The food options available are broad, even though none require refrigeration.
It's amazing what you can do with instant pudding mix. Here, the crew has prepared a coconut crepe with chocolate pudding filling.
Camping on Mars
The HI-SEAS mock Mars habitat will include basic kitchen tools such as a small stove, oven and microwave.
The ingredients the crew will bring to 'Mars' have long shelf lives. This can doesn't expire until 2037.
Cooking from Scratch
The HI-SEAS participants have varying levels of cooking experience. A number describe themselves as typical engineers who've hardly ever cooked before. But everyone may need to help out in the kitchen on Mars.
Working in 'Space'
During their mission, the 'astronauts' will not only take detailed surveys on all their meals, but will pursue space mission-related research of their own.
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Clara Moskowitz is a science and space writer who joined the Space.com team in 2008 and served as Assistant Managing Editor from 2011 to 2013. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She covers everything from astronomy to human spaceflight and once aced a NASTAR suborbital spaceflight training program for space missions. Clara is currently Associate Editor of Scientific American. To see her latest project is, follow Clara on Twitter.