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Yuri Gagarin - first man in space

What do astronauts eat in space?

Space travel problems

What do astronauts eat in outer space travel?

The astronaut food and diet was a problem from the very outset. There was no previous experience; nobody knew whether the astronaut could eat solid food or liquids in weightlessness or what it would taste like. During early space flights the diet consisted of a small selection of liquids and pastes. The taste of this food left much to be desired.

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Of course, very much has changed since then.

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Today the astronauts food diet includes hundreds of dishes: soups, served in tubes, canned meat and fish, juices, coffee, tea etc. Some of the space food is sublimated, i.e., dehydrated in a special way. If water is added to such food, its original properties are restored. The use of cargo spacecraft has made it possible to add variety to the diet. Fresh fruit, vegetables and even mustard are most delicious after sublimated food and the usual canned foods.

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The astronauts have four meals a day: first breakfast, second breakfast, lunch and supper. The doctors say this is best for the assimilation of food by the organism. The daily consumption in terms of calories is 3,200.

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Here is astronaut menu for one day.

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Astronaut first breakfast: cold roast pork, mashed potatoes, rich wheat bread, quince sticks and coffee.

Astronaut second breakfast: cheese, ship biscuits and apple juice.

Astronaut lunch: jellied sturgeon, sorrel soup, stewed beef, bread, grape and plum juice, prunes.

Astronaut supper: pork hamburger with egg, cottage cheese with nuts, rye bread, sweets and tea.

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The space foods are selected to provide a balanced diet in terms of calories and vitamin content. For quite some time the astronauts could choose only a complete ration. The doctors didn't permit them to make up menus by themselves. The dieticians feared that personal tasted for certain dishes might result in an unbalanced diet. But finally permission was granted to the astronauts to eat what they like. Today every member of the spaceship crew chooses what he wants most.

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After 60 to 80 days in outer space many astronauts felt their appetite diminishing and the taste of food changing. This was due to shifts in metabolism and changes occurring in the body. In addition, they got tired of some dishes. Any traveler who has been on tinned food will say the same. Thus, both space and Earth travelers face the same problem. Today researches are working hard on it.

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