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The Sciences

Thanksgiving Dinner in Space!

DiscoblogBy Melissa LafskyNovember 26, 2008 10:42 PM

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Tomorrow, most of America will gather in front of a table to ingest massive quantities of carb- and fat-driven foodstuffs. But what about the few Americans currently in space? Not to worry: Lest the seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour go without their requisite servings of turkey, stuffing, and candied yams, NASA is providing a Thanksgiving meal. The six Americans on board and one Russian—who, in the spirit of inclusion, is also joining the meal—will float through their feast (literally), eating their feast from individual pouches with Velcro tags, which they can affix to metal trays that can be attached to their laps or the wall. Each tray is equipped with a tethered spoon, fork, knife, and pair of scissors for cutting open the food pouches. While the flavor ranges in space are somewhat limited, NASA works hard to engineer a varied menu. Of course, the results aren't always so successful, according to reports:

A week before Thanksgiving, NASA gave reporters a taste-test of the astronauts' holiday dinner. The smoked turkey was slightly stiffer than deli meat, like after it has been left in the refrigerator a week past its expiration date. The candied yams had a syrupy sweetness outside that dissolved into blandness in the middle. The green beans with mushrooms tasted like they have been frozen and then microwaved to an inch of their life.

The saving grace was a sublime cranapple dessert. There was a tartness to the apples and sweetness to the cranberries mixed with pecans and syrup in a dish that resembles cobbler filling.

Well, at least the meal can end on a high note. Related: Disco: Astronaut Taste Test: The Truth about Water from Recycled Urine and Sweat Disco: International Space Station Gets New Toilet, Fridge, and BloggerImage: iStockphoto

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