In 2030, NASA will be sending astronauts on a mission to Mars. Since Mars is so far away, the scientists on the NASA Advanced Food Technology (AFT) team will have to find ways to send along enough food for 6-8 astronauts for 3 years!
This is where delicious, fresh, plant-based food comes in. Because of the length of trip, it’s not possible to preserve meat or dairy in a way that’s safe, so the scientists with AFT are experimenting with ways to send along fresh fruit, vegetables, and even live plants.
In the absence of meat and dairy, astronauts will be consuming vegan meals while they are in space - that would be a great movie title - Vegans in Space! Mars is different from other missions, not just because of the distance, but also because of gravity. Previously, gravity issues have made it impossible for astronauts to each much other than pre-packaged meals. But since they’ll have more stability on Mars they’ll be able to cook meals and grow plants, all with specialized tools and solutions.
With 100 vegan recipes already created, the AFT team is still hard at work on developing their 2030 Mission to Mars menu. What types of food do you think they should send along with the astronauts? Perhaps they should find a way to send along some of Mister Nice Guy's Vegan Cupcakes! Now that's a mission I’d want to be a part of!