In 1962, the Mercury program sought to find out if humans could eat in space. This interesting 1966 film captures some of the early trial and error.
One of John Glenn's many tasks, as the first American to orbit Earth in 1962, was to experiment with eating in weightless conditions. Some experts had been concerned that weightlessness would impair swallowing. Glenn experienced no difficulties and it was determined that microgravity did not affect the natural swallowing process.
Astronauts in later Mercury missions (1959–1963) disliked the food that was provided. They ate bite-sized cubes, freeze-dried powders, and tubes of semiliquids. The astronauts found it unappetizing, experienced difficulties in rehydrating the freeze-dried foods, and did not like having to squeeze tubes or collect crumbs. Prior to the mission, the astronauts were also fed low residual launch-day breakfasts, to reduce the chances that they would defecate in flight.
Several of the food issues from the Mercury missions were addressed for the later Gemini missions (1965–1966). Tubes (often heavier than the foods they contained) were abandoned. Gelatin coatings helped to prevent bite-sized cubes from crumbling. Simpler rehydration methods were developed. The menus also expanded to include items such as shrimp cocktail, chicken and vegetables, toast squares, butterscotch pudding, and apple juice.
Bonus video: Chimp Test Pilots:
• What Did Early Astronauts Eat (YouTube / The Best Space Archives)
Stephen Wolfram's podcast features a 90-minute lecture that he delivered at the 2019 Wolfram Summer School (MP3), recapitulating the history of mathematics from prehistory to the present day.
In the 1930s photographer Dorothea Lange was hired by the U.S. government’s Farm Security Administration (FSA) to take photos of farm workers affected by the Great Depression. She took this photo of Florence Owens Thompson with her children in 1936 in Nipomo, California and titled it “Migrant Mother.” “I saw and approached the hungry and […]
Seamus Blackley, "father of the Xbox," worked with Egyptologist Serena Love and microbiologist Richard Bowman to extract yeast from 4,500-year-old Egyptian bread-making and beer-making potter held in the collection of Harvard's Peabody Museum; though nearly all of the samples are being cultured for analysis and addition to a microorganism library, Blackley cultured one sample to […]
Want to make a hit? The right software is out there for anyone, but any music producer will tell you that finding the right sound can still take time and talent. Still, the right tools are a great shortcut, which makes this Synth & Sound Pack Bundle absolutely priceless. And now that it’s on sale […]
Let’s face it: People at the gym aren’t bragging about their headphones. If they were that great, they’d be listening to them instead of talking about them. So while we’re sure those new PowerBeats Pro earbuds are something special, why would you shell out $250 for a tiny pair of speakers when comparable ones are […]
Big companies take on big projects. When they do that, they need a project manager to lay out a roadmap for the entire team – and they’re typically willing to pay a big paycheck to the person who can fill those shoes. So what does it take to become a project manager? If you don’t […]