Want to Test Out Some Space Food? NASA Is Looking for Volunteers
Imagine being an astronaut on a mission who’s stuck with the same old food for weeks or months (it’s not like you can call out for pizza).
Like most people who are faced with similar dining choices day after day, you’d likely eat less — and that’s a concern for scientists. So they’re recruiting volunteers to help them test out edible fare in preparation for a future mission.
Boredom with food has been dubbed “menu fatigue,” and Jean Hunter, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering at Cornell University, said astronauts “not only tire of eating foods they normally enjoy, but also tend to eat less, which can put them at risk for nutritional deficiency, loss of bone and muscle mass, and reduced physical capabilities.”
During an upcoming planetary surface mission to Mars, astronauts will be able to cook and possibly even garden. Can you believe it? That is why researchers are looking for six volunteers willing to coop themselves up for four months to “assess the palatability of available instant foods and food prepared by the crew, and determine whether food preferences change over time.”
In addition, the guinea pigs will compile recipes and cooking tips, and measure how much time, power and water are needed for meal preparation and cleanup for both instant and crew-cooked foods.
Volunteers must be healthy non-smokers between the ages of 21 and 65 with a bachelor’s degree in either engineering, math or an appropriate science. Interested? Check out the application.