Someone is paying more than $400 for leftover Apollo mission pot roast


A packet of freeze-dried beef pot roast from the Apollo program is up for auction, and the price is currently $472. $520 if you want to bid in.

Good's Nicola Twilley notes some important facts about the Apollo food program that make this pot roast even less appetizing than it looks.

1. Inflight food consumption proved inadequate to maintain nutritional balance and body weight.
2. Inflight nausea, anorexia, and undesirable physiological responses experienced by some crewmen were believed to be partly attributable to the foods.

3. Meal preparation and consumption required too much crew time and effort.

4. Water for reconstitution of dehydrated foods was unpalatable initially and contained undesirable amounts of dissolved gases.

5. Functional failures occurred in the rehydratable food packages in the early Apollo flights.


  1. It should be noted that “space food” has come a long way since Apollo and is a hell of a lot better now.

  2. No Apollo memorabilia collector in his right mind would open this package to taste the food contained therein. It would lose its MIB (mint in bag) premium value!

    Interestingly, the referenced article mentions the “Moon trees” grown from seeds that went to the Moon and back. We have one of these trees in Tucson, right in front of the Kuiper building that my dad worked in at the time. Astronomers were important to these missions, providing information on where would be a good place to land.

  3. Well, I was going to say that someone _might_ eat it, because I don’t know whether it’s more awesome to own something from the Apollo mission, or to actually have tasted the food from the Apollo mission. But bullet point 4 suggests that even if you try to cook it up, you still wouldn’t get the full effect. . . the full horrible effect.

    I guess for weaksauce astronaut food experiences I’m going to stick to the dehydrated ice cream.

  4. Funny, when I first read that I assumed Apollo was the name of a restaurant in the San Francisco Mission district. Makes more sense now.

  5. There’s a noticeably dying Moon Tree (a sycamore) in Philadelphia. It’s in Washington Square, a block from th3e Liberty Bell. The Park Service would certainly have removed it by now if not for its pedigree.

  6. Read Mary Roach’s Packing For Mars for lots of tasty tidbits about astronaut food including that some of it was developed by veterinarians.

  7. Whine – so much cool stuff. I have been drooling over this for the past month or so. I used to work at the Cosmosphere and have seen some great artifacts. The closest I come to owning any is a bolt for the ejection seat of an SR-71.

  8. If this is truly an artifact from the apollo space program, how can anyone own it? Isn’t it public property, from a government financed program? Wasn’t Max Ary from the Cosmosphere convicted for similar shenanigans?

    1. Woah woah woah woah woah. WOAH. Back the truck up.

      “If this is truly an artifact from the apollo space program, how can anyone own it? Isn’t it public property, from a government financed program? Wasn’t Max Ary from the Cosmosphere convicted for similar shenanigans?”

      It isn’t public property. MOST of this is just scraps and letters and signatures. One would think because this is a public auction it would clue you in that the first part of your post is bananas.

      Just like they don’t round up every 5.56mm shell they shoot in the Army, they don’t round up every nut and bolt and mylar sheet used in the space program. Indeed A LOT of stuff was thrown away, stuck in warehouses, or literally left to rot in Kudzu. The only reason a bolt in Lucite is worth anything now is it can be traced back to the space program. But for a lot of this stuff, it was just given away. By the bucketfuls in many cases.

      IIRC – there are laws around MOON ROCKS not being sold to private people (though a few have them from rocks from other countries making their way to the public). A Missouri Senator just found one cleaning out his office that he had forgotten about for 30 years.

      But all this other stuff was/is fair game. It looks like most of this is from astronaut estates and the estates of some of the people involved in the program.

      As for Max Ary, his sin was shitty record keeping. Which is understandable when people are – literally – handing you boxes of stuff and saying they don’t want to see it anymore. Ary and others rescued a lot of artifacts from ruin and getting lost. One of their Cosmosphere’s crown jewels, the Surveyor 6 scoop, came from them finding it in the Smithsonian, even after they insisted they didn’t have it. Some of the rocket engines came from kudzu jungles that were lost.

      Even though the Cosmosphere would had been nothing more than a Planetarium without Ary, when he left there became on issue on what was ‘his’ and what was ‘the museums’ – even though a lot of what was in the museum was ‘his’ or acquired directly by him at the time.

      Sadly, what started with a dream and some geeks chasing around artifacts for a hole in the wall museum, ended with an internationally recognized museum full of artifacts difficult to put a price on. Ary got shafted and I would bet money he didn’t intentionally defraud anyone.

  9. “5. Functional failures occurred in the rehydratable food packages in the early Apollo flights.”

    Houston, we have a problem.

  10. It’s interesting to see how this auction is doing. Since childhood I’ve possessed the even more swank Apollo Salisbury Steak with vitamin tablet, gifted to me by a former LEM electrical engineer from Grumman who, rather depressingly, spent his post-Apollo years selling life insurance in New Jersey. Story was that it had been taken to the Moon and returned as spare food stocks, but I could never find any space memorabilia dealers who knew how to confirm this, though its serial number is intact. I’ve often wondered how much it might be worth.

  11. That’s nothing, somebody is paying $1,000,000 on e-bay for a name on a piece of paper that is someone’s guess as to the identity of Banksy.

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