In Brief

Italian Astronaut Shows Off Space Station's Snack Supply (Video)

European Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Shows off Space Snacks
European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti holds up a bag of dehydrated strawberries in this screenshot from a video ESA posted on April 21, 2015. (Image credit: ESA)

When it comes to preparing for a long-duration space trip, forget the Tang; what you really need are some wholesome snacks.

Aspiring astronauts got a glimpse of spaceflyers' snack options when Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti showed off her favorite space snacks in a video recorded on the International Space Station and released the European Space Agency on April 21.

"Snack time is a great opportunity to put the right kind of rocket fuel in your body," Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman to fly in space, said in the video. "And, as always, don't panic — eating healthy is not rocket science."

In the video, she casually grabs dried apples, macadamia nuts, a pumpkin-seed bar and other snacks from a rack in the space station's Node 1 (Unity) module, showing all of them before letting them float away off-camera. (Except for one macadamia nut, which Cristoforetti munched.)

All of these snacks have a long shelf life, which makes sense because astronauts don't have access to refrigeration on board the orbiting lab, and the spaceflyers routinely go months between cargo shipments.

Lastly, Cristoforetti displayed a "very special power bar" made just for her. It includes "plenty of healthy nutritious ingredients" such as nuts, seeds, full-grain cereals and the cyanobacterium spirulina.

Cristoforetti arrived at the International Space Station in November. She and fellow Expedition 43 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov and Terry Virts are scheduled to come back to Earth Wednesday (May 13).  

Follow Elizabeth Howell @howellspace, or @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+. Originally published on

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: