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When we go to Mars, this is what we could eat along the way.

National Geographic & # 39; s

Nat Geo created Mars-inspired dishes for a lunch in New York that promotes his show, but astronauts are unlikely to eat these exact creations.

Kena Betancur / National Geographic / PictureGroup

Typically, I have a ham sandwich for lunch. A couple of weeks ago, I mixed things up and ate waygu meat with a ball of spinach shaped like a crater, a kale salad with croutons shaped like a meteorite and a piece of chocolate printed in 3D.

The delights were part of a menu inspired by Mars designed to show what astronauts can eat on the long journey to the Red Planet.

Yes, the food was elegant, but they assured me that it was nothing like the food the astronauts ate on a mission to Mars. Even so, the ongoing research on cooking for a trip there points to groceries that will go far beyond an opaque paste that is extracted from a tube.


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The New York lunch, celebrated as the excitement increased for The NASA InSight Mars landing on Monday, celebrated the second season of Mars of the Nat Geo network, which is in part a fictional drama about astronauts who create a new life on Mars and starts a series of documentaries that focus on the actual investigation of a mission to Mars.

Michele Perchonok, a food scientist who previously worked at NASA for 17 years, said the space organization has been developing food they would need to last astronauts on a 34-month round trip mission to the Red Planet and vice versa.

"If the food is not acceptable, [astronauts] they may not eat as much, "said Perchonok, a valid concern that astronauts must eat to be able to do their work to the fullest.All foods served in the space must meet the standards of being safe, nutritious and tasty. have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years, he said, that is much longer than the 18 month shelf life for food on the International Space Station.

"You can anticipate that one of the menus could be pasta sauce made with tomatoes, peppers and onions," said Perchonok, noting that cherry tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries are potentially possible to use dwarf plants and a growth chamber .

National Geographic & # 39; s

Dr. Michele Perchonok is a food scientist who worked at NASA for 17 years.

Kena Betancur / National Geographic / PictureGroup

Other foods that should be able to make the trip would be soy, oils, peanuts and similar staples.

At the beginning of its development, 3D printing could also be a blessing for astronauts, said Perchonok, with the possibility of ethnic dishes being cooked using curry technology.

"Currently on the International Space Station they have Asian food, Chinese food, some Indian food, vegetarian dishes, Mexican dishes, there are already many, the question is how much variety is needed for a mission to Mars," said Perchonok.

One thing that Perchonok knows that astronauts want in their missions: coffee. While attending a workshop during his career at NASA, he had the opportunity to ask the Apollo astronauts how important it was for them to have hot water, and they let him know that it is very, very important.

"Do not take our coffee," they said.

The second season of National Geographic's Mars is currently broadcast on the National Geographic channel on Mondays at 9 p.m.


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