If you had to pick between an astronaut’s space food and a military MRE, which would you go for?
Back before Marine Colonel Randy Bresnik served as the commander of the International Space Station’s Expedition 53, he made a name for himself as an F/A-18 Hornet test pilot for the Marine Corps. He went on to fly combat missions in his Hornet in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, before retiring from the Corps and pursuing his new career in space. Talk about a successful transition!
Thanks to Bresnik’s military experience, he’s one of the few space travelers qualified to compare astronaut food to the MREs (or Meals Ready to Eat) that we service members grow so acquainted with during field exercises and deployments.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of eating them, MREs are self-contained individual field rations with an unusually long shelf life. They don’t need to be refrigerated, come in their own waterproof packaging, and have enough nutritional and caloric value to keep you in the fight, even if they don’t always taste all that good. Over time, most service members find a few MREs that they prefer (believe it or not, the Veggie Burger wasn’t bad and came with the best side dishes!) but most of us agree that after a week or so, we’ll eat just about anything to avoid piling in another MRE.
So, while MRE’s sometimes sacrifice taste or texture in favor of longevity and nutrition, NASA faces even bigger challenges when it comes to choosing what sorts of food they send up to the International Space Station. On top of their concerns about nutrition, taste, and smell (inside an enclosed spacecraft, bad smells can really affect morale), NASA also has to keep in mind that it costs an average of $10,000 per pound to send supplies up to the ISS. As a result, a lot of astronaut food is dehydrated here on Earth, launched to the ISS in a rocket, and then re-hydrated once in space.
If this leaves you wondering which tastes better, the field ration MRE or the space ration dehydrated food, you’re not the only one–and Bresnik was kind enough to give us a comparison for the Marine Corps’ Instagram account.
So how do MREs compare to space food? Click the video to find out!
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Pizza Delivery in Space . Astronaut Marine Col. Randy Bresnik tells us about his International Space Station Expedition 53 crew getting pizza delivered in space. . #NationalPizzaPartyDay #Marines #Yut #OohRah #America #NASA #Space #SpaceMarine #Fighter #Astronaut #SpaceStation
Feature image courtesy of NASA