Martian Munchies

A group of researchers has wrapped up a study examining what types of foods are best suitable for consumption on Mars.

Hi-SEAS/Sian Proctor

Hi-SEAS/Sian Proctor

The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation (Hi-SEAS) crew spent four months in a remote part of Hawaii living and eating like astronauts, testing various recipes currently being used for space missions. They lived in a dome at Mauna Loa, a volcano located on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The project was spurred by risks pinpointed by NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. According to the Associated Press, crew members were selected by representatives from the University of Hawaii and Cornell University.

“This first mission will involve six astronaut-like (in terms of education, experience, and attitude) crew members living in the habitat for 120 days under Mars-exploration conditions (e.g. with communication latencies and blackouts, in close quarters, under strict water-use rules etc.),” Hi-SEAS’ website states.

Most food used in space is processed and lacking in fiber, the Associated Press states. Now that they have left the dome, the researchers will begin readjusting to their normal lives and go over the data collected during their mission. One request from the researchers was for a relaxing day at the beach.

So what sort of recipes did the researchers select? Individuals around the world submitted recipes online under the requirement that the recipes use processed foods that are readily available. For breakfast, the crew chose “Blueberry Lemon Pancakes and No-Crust Quiche Muffins” as the winning recipe. For a stew, they selected “Moroccan Beef Tagine” and the main dish selection was “Spam fried rice.” For desert, the crew selected “Dark Matter Cake.”

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