Space Food and Nutrition

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Space Food and Nutrition

The word Food below red apple

Content on this page supports the concept of how all organisms must be able to obtain food for energy to grow and function. Read about how food is prepared for consumption during space travel.

Lesson Plans

Space Food and Nutrition Educator Guide (Grades K-8)
Students learn important facts about nutrition by planning menus and studying about food eaten by astronauts while in space.

Lesson titles:
  • Food Preparation for Space
  • Food Selection
  • Planning and Serving Food
  • Classifying Space Food
  • Ripening of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Mold Growth
  • How Much Is Waste?
  • Dehydrating Food for Space Flight

Space Nutrition (Grades 5-8)
This book covers the role of nutrition in the space program, describes how space nutrition research is conducted, and highlights completed and ongoing research at NASA.

Food for Spaceflight Activity (Grades 3-5)
This lesson challenges students to select and compare foods for spaceflight suitability and package them for spaceflight.

Life Science Themed Units and Camps (Grades 4-6) 
In this activity, students measure the quantity of oxygen a person needs during varying levels of activity. 

NASA Digital Learning Network -- Food for Thought Web Conference (Grades 4-6)
Register online for a DLN Web conference with NASA experts. Learn how NASA nutritionists record, analyze and interpret data to prepare astronaut food for a mission to Mars.

Food for Thought (Grades 5-8) 
Students learn about foods eaten by the astronauts on the space station.

Why Do Astronauts Eat Tortillas Instead of Bread? (Grades 5-8)
What kinds of foods make good space food? Use the lesson plan below from the Educator Section and the resources on this page to teach about space food.


ISS Update: Space Nutrition 
NASA Public Affairs Officer Amiko Kauderer interviews Scott M. Smith, Ph.D., NASA nutritionist, about nutrition experiments taking place aboard the International Space Station.

ISS Update: How Long-Duration Spaceflight Affects Health
NASA nutritionist Scott Smith talks about how nutrition and microgravity affect vision and health.

Launchpad: Food for a Mars Mission 
NASA must find a way to provide food for astronauts that fits into very limited space.

Launchpad: Food Aboard the International Space Station 
Get the inside scoop from astronaut Michael Foale about what it is like to eat in space.


Related Sites

Advanced Food Technology Project
Space food must be safe, nutritious and acceptable to the crew. It must also be easy to prepare, and packaged foods must have a shelf life of three to five years.

Space Food Systems Laboratory
NASA's food lab is responsible for space food and package research and development.

New Findings on Astronaut Vision Loss
Approximately 20 percent of astronauts living on the International Space Station have reported post-flight vision changes. Does nutrition contribute to the changes?
Page Last Updated: July 27th, 2016
Page Editor: Flint Wild