October 31, 2011
Epicurean empiricists Rachel Edwards-Stuart and Jessica Chambers joined us at the Astronomers’ Ball this month at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich with a Galactic Gourmet: a feast of treats that have (or could) be eaten in space. Rachel and Jess here tell us more about the history of space food, the challenges of eating in space, and the role that scientific and technological developments have played in this journey…
There are several challenges to overcome when planning to take meals into space. First of all, there isn’t a lot of room on the space shuttles to store or prepare food. There weren’t any refrigerators or ovens on board the early shuttles either. Then there’s the issue of zero gravity – which could result in food and crumbs flying all over the place. No chance of cakes and biscuits in space!
Astronaut food at the beginning of space travel was not the most appetising. The first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, was treated to a snack of meat paste in a tube.
This simple design allowed Yuri to squeeze the food directly into his mouth, avoiding spills floating around in zero gravity. Imagine having all of your meals from a tube – not very enjoyable is it? Especially as the appearance of any food is key in driving flavour perception and food acceptability – you would hardly want to eat an apple that was covered in bruises and mould, would you? When everything is served in the same simple tube it can totally change the flavour and eating experience.
Throughout the 1960s, advances in space travel accelerated as the Russians and Americans battled over the final frontier.
September 16, 2011
Chocolate, lettuce, kebabs, cheese, wine, potatoes and egg are all out on your trip to space. To survive in orbit and beyond, we’ll have to pack light.
Experimental epicures Rachel Edwards-Stuart and Jessica Chambers took us on a whistlestop tour of the history of intergalactic food – eating in space is even harder than it sounds. We sampled interstellar ice cream, dehydrated steak and zero gravity cake.
August 15, 2011
Working in partnership with chef Joe Gray we brought a feast of filth to the Secret Garden Party, each course inspired by the physical, biological, ethical, architectural, social, political and temporal dimensions of dirt.
Eminent experts accompanied each course, feeding guests with ideas about the nature of dirt, with scientists Zarinah Agnew, Rachel Edwards-Stuart, Aidan Horner, Elizabeth Pisani, and beatboxer Yasson. All pics on our Flickr site.
August 12, 2011
Experimental epicures Rachel Edwards-Stuart and Jessica Chambers took us on a whistlestop tour of the history of space food – eating in orbit is even harder than it sounds. At the Secret Garden Party 2011, we sampled interstellar ice cream, dehydrated steak and zero gravity cake.
Full program here.