If we send missions to Mars in the future, astronauts will remain in space for months or perhaps years. Of course they want some delicious food. And healthy, because a space mission like this won't leave you cold. What meal best meets the needs of an astronaut? Scientists from the University of Adelaide in Australia think they have the answer.
This is the number of calories an astronaut needs
to Their research Australian researchers took NASA dietary guidelines For male astronauts as a starting point. Space travelers need at least 2,812 calories per day and additional minerals, such as calcium, to stay healthy while exposed to microgravity.
In addition, during long space missions, food must be grown in a sustainable and circular way, on spacecraft or in space colonies. The scientists write in a press release.
This is the perfect meal for long space missions
To find out which type of meal best meets all needs, scientists used a mathematical method called linear programming. Accordingly, different combinations of ingredients were tested to find out what the ideal space meal would be.
A vegetarian salad emerged as the winner. The meal included soybeans, poppy seeds, kale, peanuts, and sweet potatoes, and best met the energy needs of an astronaut. Furthermore, this space meal also emerged as the most sustainable in the test. Relatively little fertilizer, water, and space are needed to grow these crops in space. Inedible parts of plants can also be easily recycled.
What about women?
What about female astronauts? Will this vegetarian salad also keep them going during a trip to Mars? Unfortunately, we don't know that yet, because this study only focused on men. Scientists plan to use the computer model to develop the perfect space meal for female astronauts as well.
Willick Van Doorn studied journalism and traveled the world for a while, eventually ending up in the editorial offices of Quest, National Geographic, and Runner's World across the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. She is interested in the world, prefers to travel every month and always takes her running shoes with her.
“Travel enthusiast. Alcohol lover. Friendly entrepreneur. Coffeeaholic. Award-winning writer.”