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Vickie Kloeris

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  1. We do use some of the freeze-dried items that are commercially available for backpacking. However, many of these items do not work because they require boiling water to fully rehydrate and our water does not get that hot on the Shuttle. As far as trying to market the custom freeze-dried foods that we produce, that's not a very viable option. We do not have the production capacity that would be required to market things commercially. We would actully have to buy more equipment and hire more personnel to go commercial and that just doesn't make sense.
  2. The last meal prior to launch on the ground has always been at crewmember request. Often, that last meal is breakfast on launch day. The steak and eggs were there simply because crewmembers requested them and that type of breakfast was very popular in that time period. We take requests from crewmembers for their last meal prior to launch. Sometimes now, it is not breakfast, but may be lunch, depending upon the timeline for that first mission day.
  3. I personally think food is extremely important to the success of a long-duration space flight, like the International Space Station. On Shuttle missions, the duration is short, so high quality food is less important to the nutritional and psychological well being of the crew. It's like a camping trip. What you eat or don't eat for two weeks isn't going to affect your long term health that much. It is important for them to eat and drink enough on Shuttle missions to stay well hydrated, etc, but if they eat poorly (skip meals, veggies, etc) for two weeks it's not a huge impact. Neither does the psychological impact of food come into play as much on the shorter Shuttle missions. There are some crewmembers who place food wants/wishes high on their list for Shuttle flights, but not very many. However, on ISS it is totally different. The crewmembers are on the space station for at least four months (six right now without Shuttles flying) and this is a long enough period of time that nutrition and psychology of food are really important. If you eat poorly for four to six months, you can have a significant impact on your health. Poor quality of food can lead to crewmembers consuming less food. Also, a lack of variety in the menu can lead to crewmembers consuming less food due to menu fatigue. Therefore, the quality and variety of food available become much more important on long duration missions. We have also had many comments from the ISS crewmembers concerning the importance of having the "bonus" food containers on ISS. These are a limited number of containers (usually four per expedition crewmember) that the ISS crewmember can select "off the menu" items to include. This would be like commercially available candies, cookies, etc that are not part of our regular menu, but are requested by the crewmember. The bonus container provides a means for the crewmembers to add extra variety to their menu and also to have more of an "ownership" of the items placed in the bonus container (especially if they are "off-the-menu" items). This illustrates the psychological impact of food on these missions. As far as research, we would love to have more dollars for actual product development. Only since 1998, have we been funded to actually create custom food items for spaceflight. Before then, we were totally dependent upon the commercially available food items. We now have about 50 custom food items that our food scientists have formulated. This has greatly increased the variety of food available to our ISS crewmembers. I would also like to have funds to research more about the psychological impact of food in spaceflight.
  4. Below is a list of some of the commercial items we use. Almost all of these items are repackaged before going to orbit. The exception would be the canned items, like the Del Monte single serving fruits. Commercially Available Space Food Items ITEM BRAND/MANUFACTURER Brownie Little Debbie from McKee Baking Company Plain M&M’s M&M Mars Inc Peanut M&M’s M&M Mars, Inc Oatmeal with Brown Sugar Instant from Quaker Oats We add non fat dry milk Oatmeal w/Raisins Instant from Quaker Oats We add non fat dry milk Bran Chex Ralston Purina; Multi-Bran Chex We add non fat dry milk Cornflakes Frosted Flakes; Kellogg’s We add non fat dry milk Granola Heartland-Pet, Inc We add non fat dry milk Granola w/Raisins Heartland-Pet, Inc We add non fat dry milk Grits with Butter Instant Grits from Quaker We add Butter Buds Rice Krispies Kellogg’s We add non fat dry milk Butter Cookies Chessman from Pepperidge Farms Shortbread Cookies Lorna Doone from Nabisco Butter Crackers Butter crackers from Keebler Dried Apricots Del Monte Diced Peaches Del Monte Single serving can with flip top lid Dried Peaches Del Monte Diced Pears Del Monte Single serving can with flip top lid Pineapple Del Monte Single serving can with flip top lid Granola Bar Sunbelt from McKee Baking Company Almonds Hickory Smoked from Blue Diamond Cashews Whole cashews from Planters Peanuts Dry roasted from Planters Banana Pudding Handi-Snacks from Kraft Plastic tub with foil peelable lid Butterscotch Pudding Handi-Snacks from Kraft Plastic tub with foil peelable lid Chocolate Pudding Handi-Snacks from Kraft Plastic tub with foil peelable lid Tapioca Pudding Handi-Snacks from Kraft Plastic tub with foil peelable lid Vanilla Pudding Handi-Snacks from Kraft Plastic tub with foil peelable lid Salmon Pink Salmon from Chicken of the Sea Single serve can with flip top lid Tuna Albacore, solid white in spring water from Starkist Single serve can with flip top lid Apple Cider Alpine Cider Mix from Continental Mills Coffee Instant; Tasters Choice from Nestle Coffee, Decaff Instant, Tasters Choice from Nestle Lemonade Country Time Lemonade with Artifical Sweetener Country Time Orange Drink Tang from Kraft/General Foods Tea Instant from Nestea Tropical Punch Kool-Aid from Kraft/General Foods
  5. All of the things you mentioned can come into play in choosing a commercial product. First, we usually add commercial products when we have a need. We look at the menu list and see where we might be lacking in things like variety and possibly nutrition. Currently, we normally add additional commercial products when one of the products we are currently using is discontinued by the manufacturer and we have to find a substitute. We have to consider the nutritional profile of the product, the preservation method/shelf life, the way it is packaged (will the packaging meet spacecraft materials standards?) and the availability. Since we have to do engineering drawings for all our food items, it is costly to add an item to the permanent menu. Therefore, we don't want to add some "fad" food item to the permanent menu and have it be discontinued right away by the manufacturer. We want to try and insure long term availability of the items we use.
  6. The tortillas came to be part of the food system because of payload specialist from Mexico that flew on the Shuttle. He requested tortillas to take along on his mission and the U.S. crewmembers saw the ease with which things could be wrapped in a tortilla and made into a "sandwich". A single tortilla is easier to handle than two pieces of bread and makes a lot less crumbs. Bread still flys occassionally in the fresh food tray on Shuttle, but tortillas are definitely the "bread of choice" for U.S. crewmembers. We do not have the resources to investigate the foods of other cultures to try and determine which ones might work for spaceflight. Right now, only the U.S. and Russia have programs in place to produce foods for spaceflight. Often, commercial off the shelf products won't work for permanent addition to spaceflight menus due to problems with packaging, preparation, etc. We hope that the International Partners of the ISS will eventually come forward to provide food items to add to the ISS menu. They, after all, would be the experts on their own culture's food.
  7. The Russians tend to put their fish products in gelatin and the like...that may help with the odor. We have had U.S. crewmembers complain about the Russian fish as well. The Russians are much more used to a higher fish content in their diet than is the typical U.S. crewmember. The astronaut ice cream is not part of flight food systems. A freeze-dried ice cream flew on one Apollo mission at the request of a crewmember. It has never flown any other time. Commercial companies decided that the freeze-dried ice cream had a niche market in NASA visitor's centers, museums, etc and thus it is being produced by commercial companies for that purpose.
  8. No astronauts do not eat more because they are in space. Because of the lack of exposure to sunlight, we do make Vitamin D available to the crewmembers at the request of the flight surgeons. However, most crewmembers do not use the Vitamin D we provide, since most have arranged with their flight surgeons to take a multiple vitamin that normally contains Vitamin D. Astronauts and cosmonauts do usually experience weight loss during flight. Part of it is due to fluid loss which occurs when a crewmember enters microgravity. The shift of fluids to the upper part of the body in microgravity causes the body to eliminate some water, resulting in weight loss. Also, bone loss and muscle loss occur in microgravity and these can also contribute to overall weight loss. On Shuttle flights, the weight loss is usually due to fluid loss and a failure by the crewmembers to consume enough calories to maintain body weight. On Shuttle flights, the crewmembers tend to skip a lot of meals because they work non-stop.
  9. I think it is theoretically possible to make a base reasonably self-sufficient from a food point of view. After all our ancestors did it to a great degree in settling the west. However, there are many things that have to be taken into consideration. First, you don't just want the crew to survive. You want them to flourish and be in top physical and psychological condition. To maintain good health, you must have a nutritionally balanced menu. That is difficult with an all plant based diet, especially one that will be limited in the number of different crops that will be available (not everything will work in hydroponics...no fruit trees!). Second, the psychological aspect of food is extremely important to the well being of crewmembers. We are seeing this more and more on the International Space Station. A vegetarian diet will likely not "cut it" psychologically for some of the crewmembers. All this means you would likely supplement the plants with items you bring with you...spices, other ingredients, meat products, dairy products, etc.
  10. We do run into some interesting problems with translating the names of Russian foods into English and the other way around. "Appetizing appetizer' doesn't tell you (or a crewmember) a whole lot about the food does it? We have a product called Fiesta Chicken (Southwestern style spices) and when it gets translated into Russian it comes out as "party chicken". This is equally confusing to the Russians.
  11. Although no experiments with food processing/preparation have been done in microgravity, there have been ground based studies. These studies have looked at what processing equipment and food preparation equipment would be needed for a crew on a Martian outpost. We have examined the list of crops that the NASA plant researchers tell us would be the most likely crops grown in such a habitat. We have looked at all the possible ingredients that could be made from those crops....such as soymilk, tofu, etc from soybeans...and started evaluating what equipment would be required to make these ingredients and then turn these ingredients into actually menu items. Currently, as part of our advanced food program, a study is being performed to evaluate whether growing crops and turning them into ingredients is the way to go or whether it is better to take bulk ingredients for the mission. There are currently no plans to actually "cook" food on the International Space Station or the Shuttle.
  12. The problem with using the natural environment for cooling is that at times it is very cold, but at times it is very hot depending upon if an area is facing the sun or not. If power were available to run refrigerators and freezers, we could send such foods for the food system. The problem on ISS is there is not enough power to run refrigerators/freezers for food. It's all needed for experiements, etc. If you use frozen/refrigerated foods, then you also have to have equipment to launch them in a refrigerated/frozen state to get them to the moon. Not impossible, but expensive in dollars and resources, so it has to be traded off with other requirements for power, etc. Hydroponics is certainly an option for the moon or Mars, but certainly not on an initial trip. Lots of infrastructure has to be put in place ahead of time before plants for food can be successfully grown. A lunar base could certainly, in theory, serve as a test bed for a hydroponic system for Mars.
  13. Although we have no scientific evidence to support a change in taste caused by microgravity, we have much anecdotal evidence from our crewmembers to support such a theory. Many, many crewmembers report that their tastes change when on orbit. However, there is not always consistency in what they report. Many say they like spicer things more on orbit. Some say they like beverages that are more tart and less sweet...some say just the opposite. Some say they crave more hot beverages...some say less. It makes sense that your taste could be altered, however. Smell is a huge part of how foods taste to us and in microgravity several things are happening that could change the "smell" of food. First, crewmembers experience a fluid shift when they enter microgravity. This forces much of the fluid in the lower body to the head. They are thus congested and, much like having a cold on earth, would alter the way things smell/taste. This congestion should go away/ease over time, however. Crewmembers are also in a closed environment and thus other smells are competing with/potential altering the smell and thus taste of the food. Crewmembers also do not have the opportunity to have their food on a plate in front of them with nice odors wafting up to their nose. They are eating from packages on orbit and this may limit the smell and thus alter the taste. Also, air currents won't work the same in microgravity. All these things combined probably alter the smell/taste of food. We have to walk a fine line on how much spice we put in the food. Some items are somewhat spicy...like the shrimp cocktail which contains horseradish. However, the Russians in general don't like a lot of spicy food, so we tend to stay more neutral on the food formulations and provide condiments like salsa and taco sauce for the crewmembers to spice things up if they desire.
  14. Orange, Orange with Artificial Sweetener, Grape, Grapefruit, Mango, Peach-Apricot and Pineapple.
  15. Although the U.S. space food system and the Russian space food system developed independently, they are almost identical in their methods of food preservation. The U.S. uses foods of the following types: thermostabilized, freeze-dried, intermediate moisture, natural-form, powdered beverages, and irradiated. The Russians use the same preservation methods, except they do not use irradiated meat products, like we do. Our packaging systems are quite different, however, so the packaging would represent the significant difference in our food technologies. FYI: Although the Russian water processing technology is currently used aboard ISS, NASA has done and is doing extensive work on water processing technology for spaceflight. The Russian technology is used because that equipment is part of Russian built modules on ISS.
  16. Actually, the current food systems could likely support a Lunar base. Since the moon is not very far away, resupply would be feasible and thus tremendously long shelf life for the food would not be required. However, a mission to Mars is a whole different story. Because a round-trip mission to Mars (with current propulsion systems) is on the order of a three-year mission, a tremendous mass of food would be required to support say a crew of five on such a mission. Therefore, one option would be to send the food for the surface stay and the return trip from Mars ahead of the crew on an unmanned vehicle and have it waiting for them. In order to do this, you would need a complete food system with a shelf life on the order of five years. Although we do have a handful of products in our current system that might last that long, we certainly don't have a wide enough variety of products with a long enough shelf life to provide a nutritious diet for such a mission. Therefore, much work is needed to develop a balanced and varied food system with a five year shelf life. Unless of course the propulsion guys come up with a much quicker way to get to Mars!
  17. No, we do not work with the Chinese on space food, nor have we considered it. It is not politically possible at this time. I have not seen any of the Chinese space food, so I have no idea what it is like. Naturally, they will say there's is superior! In the past, a few astronauts have requested commercially manufactured Chinese food that is available at speciality markets in the United States, so we have flown a few of these items in Shuttle fresh food or in the ISS bonus containers.
  18. Too many to list them all by company. Some examples: M&M's, Little Debbie Brownies, Bran Chex cereal, Stouffer's mac anc cheese (we freeze dry it), Del Monte canned fruits, Del Monte dried fruits, and many others.
  19. Here is the latest list we have from the Russian food specialists of what they have available: LIST OF RUSSIAN PRODUCTS RECOMMENDED FOR THE ISS CREW FOOD RATIONS ПЕРЕЧЕНЬ РОССИЙСКИХ ПРОДУКТОВ, РЕКОМЕНДУЕМЫХ ДЛЯ ВВЕДЕНИЯ В РАЦИОН ПИТАНИЯ ЭКИПАЖЕЙ МКС Thermostabilized Products: Mass 100.0 g Термостабилизированные продукты: масса 100,0 г. Meat in white sauce Мясо в белом соусе Jellied meat Мясо в желе Piquant pork Свинина пикантная Beef goulash Гуляш говяжий Pork goulash Гуляш свиной Chicken w/ eggs Мясо куриное с яйцом Chicken w/ prunes Мясо куриное с черносливом Omelet w/ chicken Омлет с куриным мясом Rossiyskiy cheese Сыр российский Pike perch Polish style Судак по-польски Spiced pike perch Судак пикантный Jellied pike-perch quenelles Кнели из судака в желе Pike perch in Baltika sauce Судак в соусе «Балтика» Bream in tomato sauce Лещ в остром томатно-горчичном соусе Jellied pike perch Судак в желе Sturgeon Осетр натуральный Appetizing appetizer Закуска аппетитная Vegetable spread Икра любительская Eggplant spread Икра баклажанная Chocolate and nuts * Крем шоколадно-ореховый* Cottage cheese w/ applesauce Творог с яблочным пюре Mashed dried apricot Пюре из кураги Crushed foxberry Брусника дробленная Honey (natural) – 120.0 g Мед (натуральный) – 120,0 г. Thermostabilized juices, beverages, and sauces in tubes: Mass 165.0 g Термостабилизированные соки, напитки, соусы в тубах: масса 165,0 г. Foxberry juice w/ sugar Сок брусничный с сахаром Black currant juice w/ sugar Сок черносмородиновый с сахаром Apple juice w/ sugar Сок яблочный с сахаром Cherry juice w/ sugar Сок вишневый с сахаром Cherry-apple juice w/sugar Сок вишнево-яблочный с сахаром Apple – cranberry drink Напиток яблочно-клюквенный Orange – cranberry drink Напиток апельсиново-клюквенный Cranberry drink Напиток из клюквы Apple-cranberry sauce Приправа яблочно-клюквенная Tomato vegetable sauce Соус томатно-овощной «Молдова» Russian mustard ** Горчица «Русская» ** Cottage cheese w/ fruit puree (cranberry, apple, and black currant) Творог с фруктовым пюре (клюквенным, яблочным, черносмородиновым) Baked Goods, in g Хлебные изделия, г. Honey cake 45.0 Коврижка медовая 45.0 Moscow rye bread 45.0 Хлеб ржаной московский 45.0 Wheat bread enriched 30.0 Хлеб пшеничный сдобный 30.0 Table bread 45.0 Хлеб столовый 45.0 Borodinskiy bread 45.0 Хлеб бородинский 45.0 Thermostabilized Products: Mass 250.0 g Термостабилизированные продукты: масса 250,0 г. Meat w/ vermicelli Мясо с вермишелью Meat w/ buckwheat gruel Мясо с гречневой кашей Meat w/ barley kasha Мясо с перловой кашей Chicken w/ buckwheat gruel Мясо цыплят с гречневой кашей Chicken in white sauce Мясо цыплят в белом соусе Chicken w/ rice Мясо цыплят с рисом Chicken w/ vegetables * Мясо цыплят с овощами Liver w/ potatoes Печень с картофелем Beef w/ vegetables Говядина с овощным гарниром Meat and vegetable casserole Запеканка мясо-овощная Lamb w/ vegetables Баранина с овощами Pork w/ potatoes Свинина с картофелем Tokana meat and vegetables Токана мясо-овощная Meat and vegetable soup Солянка мясо-овощная Apple dessert Десерт из яблок Rehydratable Products, in g Продукты сублимационной сушки, г Beet salad 50.0 Салат из свеклы 50.0 Pureed vegetable soup 30.0 Суп-пюре овощной 30.0 Peasant Soup 30.0 Суп крестьянский 30.0 Kharcho mutton soup 30.0 Суп харчо 30.0 Sauerkraut soup 25.0 Щи из квашенной капусты 25.0 Borsch w/ meat 30.0 Борщ с мясом 30.0 Pickled cucumber/meat soup (Rassolnik) 30.0 Рассольник с мясом 30.0 Home-style beef 50.0 Говядина по-домашнему 50.0 Azu beef stew 50.0 Азу 50.0 Pasta w/ meat 50.0 Макаронные изделия с мясом 50.0 Vegetable ragout w/ meat 50.0 Рагу овощное с мясом 50.0 Pork w/ Lecho sauce 50.0 Свинина с лечо 50.0 Sweet peas w/ milk sauce 50.0 Горошек в молочном соусе 50.0 Mashed potatoes 50.0 Картофельное пюре 50.0 Mashed potatoes w/ onions 50.0 Картофельное пюре с луком 50.0 Buckwheat gruel 60.0 Каша гречневая 60.0 Stewed cabbage 25.0 Капуста тушеная 25.0 Assorted vegetables 25.0 Ассорти овощное 25.0 Buckwheat gruel w/ milk 50.0 Каша гречневая с молоком 50.0 Goulash w/ buckwheat gruel 50.0 Гуляш с кашей гречневой (картофельным пюре, макаронными изделиями, горошком в молочном соусе) 50.0 Cottage cheese w/ nuts 100.0 Творог с орехами 100.0 Cottage cheese w/ black currant 100.0 Творог с черносмородиновым пюре 100.0 Cottage cheese w/ buckthorn 100.0 Творог с облепиховым пюре 100.0 Milk 25.0 Молоко 25.0 Apricot juice w/ pulp 30.0 Сок абрикосовый с мякотью 30.0 Peach-black currant juice w/ pulp 45.0 Сок персиково-черносмород. с мякотью 45.0 Peach juice w/ pulp 30.0 Сок персиковый с мякотью 30.0 Apple-black currant juice w/ pulp 40.0 Сок яблочно-черносмород. с мякотью 40.0 Black currant juice w/ pulp 50.0 Сок черносмородиновый с мякотью 50.0 Cherry juice w/ pulp 40.0 Сок вишневый с мякотью 40.0 Peach-apricot juice w/ pulp 30.0 Сок персиково-абрикосовый с мякотью 30.0 Apple-peach juice w/ pulp 30.0 Сок яблочно- персиковый с мякотью 30.0 Black currant jelly w/ pectin 75.0 Кисель черносмородиновый с пектином 75.0 Vegetable (tomato) juice * 15.0 Сок овощной (томатный) 15.0 Dried Beverages, in g Сухие напитки, г Tea w/ sugar 23.0 Чай с сахаром 23.0 Tea w/ sugar and glucose 23.0 Чай с сахаром и глюкозой 23.0 Tea w/o sugar 3.0 Чай без сахара 3.0 Coffee w/ sugar 19.0 Кофе с сахаром 19.0 Coffee w/ sugar and glucose 19.0 Кофе с сахаром и глюкозой 19.0 Coffee w/o sugar 4.0 Кофе без сахара 4.0 Green tea * 3.0 Чай зеленый * 3.0 Currant tea w/ sugar 23.0 Чай Смородина с сахаром 23.0 Currant tea w/o sugar 3.0 Чай Смородина без сахара 3.0 Earl Grey tea w/ sugar 23.0 Чай Граф Грей с сахаром 23.0 Earl Grey tea w/o sugar 3.0 Чай Граф Грей без сахара 3.0 Strawberry tea w/ sugar 23.0 Чай Клубника с сахаром 23.0 Strawberry tea w/o sugar 3.0 Чай Клубника без сахара 3.0 Patissery and Fruit-Berry Concentrates Кондитерские изделия и фруктово-ягодные концентраты Hard chocolate 50.0 Шоколад (тугопл.) 50.0 «Utro» candy 50.0 Конфеты «Утро» 50.0 «Russkoye» cookies 30.0 Печенье «Русское» 30.0 «Vostok» cookies 30.0 Печенье «Восток» 30.0 Plum-cherry fruit dessert 50.0 Десерт фруктовый слива-вишня 50.0 «Stelutsa» fruit dessert 50.0 Десерт фруктовый «Стелуца» 50.0 Prunes 50.0 Чернослив 50.0 Kuraga 50.0 Курага 50.0 Apples w/ nuts 60.0 Яблоки с орехами 60.0 Prunes stuffed w/ nuts 60.0 Чернослив с орехами 60.0 Quince bar 50.0 Палочки из айвы 50.0 Apple-plum bar 50.0 Палочки из яблок и слив 50.0 Apple-apricot bar 50.0 Палочки из яблок и абрикосов 50.0 Hazelnuts 25.0 Орехи фундук 25.0
  20. Yes, indeed they do and they have done so throughout the space program.
  21. No, we have not used chefs in the past. You have to remember that chefs are trained to produce food for real-time consumption. For the most part, they do not need to preserve the food they produce in any manner because it will be consumed right away or maybe within a few days of production. The type of food processing/production that we do is very different from what a chef is normally trained to do. In addition, we don't really have a budget that would allow us to keep a highly trained chef on staff.
  22. All of the beverages supplied as part of the U.S. food system are in powdered form and are rehydrated by the crewmembers on orbit using hot or cold water, depending upon the beverage. We currently have 49 beverages on the U.S. food list, seven of which are different flavors of Tang. This sounds like a huge amount of beverages, but you have to realize that this list includes coffee and tea fixed any way a crewmember might want it...black, with cream, with cream and sugar, etc.
  23. The medical standards for becoming an astronaut are extremely high. Astronauts are basically in perfect health. The selection process screens out those with most medical problems. Due to the high medical standards, we have not yet flown an astronaut with a true food allergy.
  24. Actually, Tang did not come from the space program. Tang was already around in the commercial market when NASA was looking for powdered beverages to fly into space. Tang fit the requirements and the rest is history. We still actually use several flavors of Tang in our flight food system. The manufacturer's of Tang are good enough to supply us with flavors of Tang that are not marketed in the U.S., but are marketed around the world. As far as foods developed by NASA food systems that reached the commercial market, the only example is the space food sticks that were marketed by Pillsbury in the early days of the space program. This was a fruit leather product that was used by the astronauts during Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) events. From the beginning of the U.S. space program an emphasis has been placed on using as much commercially available food as possible in our flight food systems. This was/is done in order to control costs. For example, we have many foods that we call natural-form foods (snacks, etc) that are commercial items that we re-package in order to extend the shelf life. These are like cookies, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, etc. Also, many of our freeze-dried foods actually start out as commercial frozen foods that we cook and freeze-dry in our lab. Therefore, they are further processed food items, but are not made from scratch. Since 1998, we have developed several thermostabilized food items that are not available on the commercial market. These items are processed very much like canned foods, but instead of being in cans, they are in a flexible pouch. These items have a shelf life of, on the average, three years. However, the commercial food industry does not have a need for this long a shelf life, so the potential for commercial application is limited.
  25. The astronauts get to choose their menus from a list of the foods that are available. The U.S. food and beverages together total about 200 different items. On the International Space Station (ISS), we also use food items from the Russian food system which adds about 100 additional items that the ISS crewmembers can choose from. Almost all of the crewmembers menu must come from the list of items we have available. However, we do allow the crewmembers to take very small quantities of special request items. On Shuttle these items are stowed in the fresh food tray. For ISS these special request items are included in the crewmembers "bonus" tray. Whether on Shuttle or ISS, these items must meet microbiological specifications and have sufficient shelf life, without refrigeration, for the particular mission upon which the foods will be used. In the case of foreign payload specialists, like Ilan Ramon, we do often include a small quantity of foods from their country when they request it. Specifically, Ilan Ramon took some U.S. produced, commercially available thermostabilized Kosher items as part of the fresh food on STS-107.
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