"Unpack a Meal of Astronaut Space Food"
Like a kid’s lunchbox at the end of the school day, the collection Levasseur administers is in some ways a barometer of failed foods. That is, leftovers—freeze-dried packets returned to Earth, unopened and summarily rejected. (Three signature NASA examples are on offer here : beef-barbecue cubes, fruitcake and coffee with cream—unused from Neil Armstrong’s meal allotments, avoided during the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon he commanded in 1969.) “We have a lot of instant breakfasts,” (curator Jennifer Levasseur) says. “I get the feeling these were the kinds of guys who just woke up and drank coffee.” Foods transformed into totally unrecognizable forms also fared poorly—which may explain the failure of astronaut ice cream. “There was a ‘bacon bar’ that looks something like a granola bar,” adds Levasseur. “We have quite a lot of those.”
Conversely, there tend to be fewer of those items that did prove popular: hot dogs, spaghetti and meatballs, shrimp cocktail.