What do they eat on the Space Station?

Flight engineer Luca Parmitano on the International Space Station (Image credit: NASA)

Question from Catherine Brown

ISS crews have a varied diet of over 100 dishes, offering everything from soup, pasta and fruit to fajitas and mashed potato. However, mostly it’s specially prepared for conditions on the ISS. 

Many meals are precooked and sealed on Earth, then warmed up and eaten from their pouches. Other foods are freeze-dried or dehydrated, so water is added before eating. Tortillas are eaten onboard instead of bread to avoid crumbs floating around in zero gravity, and salt and pepper come as liquids. Space meals have come a long way since the very first astronauts ate food paste squeezed from tubes.

Answered by Tom Lean for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 109.

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