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Extra food on board


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I assume that you include food rations beyond what's expected to be used on a typical shuttle mission. Is this true? If so, how many days beyond the expected mission duration do you provide for?

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I suspect that is when the astronauts pull that case of MREs out of the trunk and start drawing straws for who eats the unpopular ones first: Jamaican pork chop, pasta with alfredo sauce, etc. Plan B is 'who gets voted off the shuttle at tribal council'.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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We are currently required by the Shuttle program to provide two extra days of food on each Shuttle flight in the event of extension of the mission. We have had missions extend for as much as 3 days and they still come home with food. FYI: We actually use very few of the MRE items. Most of our thermostabilized pouched items (MRE technology) are custom made to our formulations. Since we are making small batches compared to the military, we have the advantage of being able to use more expensive ingredients and more labor intensive preparation procedures for the products prior to thermostabilization. The result...our thermostabilized pouched products taste a lot better than the typical MRE.

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Noting your comment as to most of the thermostabilized products being made to your specifications, does that mean that NASA has a particular vendor that either manufacturers or packages flight menus? This is not done in-house by NASA staff?

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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The overall food system is procured, packaged (when needed), labeled, stowed, shipped etc by NASA and it's contractors. However, individual items within the food system are procured from outside vendors. As I mentioned, we use a large percentage of commercially available food items that are repackaged for space flight. In the case of the thermostabilized food items, our facilities do not include a retort required for the production of these items. Therefore, we go to outside vendors to have these items made. There are several in the U.S. who can produce these items, and we might use different ones at different times.

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