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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Your Recipe in Space!

Maybe you'll never go to space, but your secret family recipe for meatballs could.

Listening to the Science Friday Podcast yesterday, I learned that for the Mars program, freeze-dried space rations will be a thing of the past. Instead Dr. Kim Binsted is organizing a space pantry of foods with long-enough shelf lives for astronauts to cook themselves meals, adding variety to what will be a long mission. To this end, there is even a recipe contest for meals in space at HI-SEAS (Binsted's Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation program). Enter and win a T-shirt and a chance for your recipe to make it to Mars.

The rules state that you can only use ingredients from the list of long-shelf-life food items that will be included in the mission. This list includes salmon, cornmeal, and maramalade, along with ethnic items such as the Japanese furikake, sushi rice, wasabi, and shiitake mushrooms. Thai curry is on the list, which gives me one more incentive to become an astronaut. It's a longer list than I would have guessed at; take a look! (And you can suggest ingredients to be added to the list--scroll to the bottom if you've got a must-have item to propose.)

The deadline is March 8th. Finalist recipes will actually be tested during a simulation mission. So get cooking, cosmonauts.

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