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Goddard Hosts “Gastro-nauts”

I love astronaut ice cream – that freeze-dried, crispy block of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate sugary sweetness that melts on your tongue into something that vaguely resembles melted ice cream. Though it was developed for the Apollo program, I was disappointed to find out that it wasn’t very popular and isn’t a part of the regular NASA menu. There are actually some fairly stringent requirements for food that goes into space. You can read more and find some excellent links to menus and space food science in this web feature.

When I heard that they filmed part of an elimination challenge for the latest season of Top Chef right here at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, I was jealous! Vickie Kloeris came up from Johnson Space Center in Houston and joined the panel of judges (including Buzz Aldrin!) to choose a dish that could be served in zero gravity. I would’ve loved to get a taste of those amazing meals, either in DC or up in space.  Unlike the “Hubble Gotchu” filming, we didn’t find out about this one until it was over – so we didn’t get the behind-the-scenes scoop.  I’ve been waiting to see this episode for a few months!

The episode was streaming online, but no longer, sorry! We’ve removed the link.


  • Sheryl says:

    I watched it only because of NASA. :-) I’m baffled by the one chef who cooked ribs. What are the astronauts going to do with the bones? Just didn’t seem like the guy was thinking. It was a pretty cool challenge for the chefs though and kudos to the show for coming up with it. (Hopefully that’s the only reality TV I’ll be watching for a while!)

    • Maggie Masetti says:

      Sheryl, I was baffled by a lot of the chefs – they all seemed to totally disregard what she said about astronaut food (not sweet, not big chunks of meat, no sauces, etc)!

  • Emo Phillips says:

    I loved that astro food stuff as a kid. I didn’t realise it never made it to the real menu though :(

  • Gareth SEO says:

    I never knew there was a NASA flight center that shared my name!

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