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Fancy Fast (Space) Food

When Sara and I attended Blogworld last year, we met Erik Trinidad, the mastermind behind the food humor blog, Fancy Fast Food. Erik’s blog entries are about his experiments taking a fast food meal, and transforming it into something that looks like fancy cuisine.

The three of us schemed and came up with an idea for something we could partner together on – and that was space food!

While we don’t work on space food here at Goddard (that honor goes to Johnson Space Center in Houston), we thought we might be able to get our hands on some if we asked nicely. And indeed, Vickie Kloeris, a food scientist and NASA’s Shuttle and ISS Food Systems Manager, was kind enough to send out some samples of real space food to use for our project.

Erik and his friend Moe came down to Goddard and the four of us spent a very long (but fun) day shooting footage for his video. We had a lot of great material and interviews that didn’t make it into the video, but we’re hoping to have some bonus deleted scenes for you at some point.

Without further ado, here is the video that Erik just released. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out Erik’s blog about how to make NASAlmon souffle!

We’ve put together some behind-the-scenes photos and stories for you – just follow the cut!

We started out our morning with an interview with astronaut Paul Richards:



Our improvised kitchen was all decked out with space-themed stuff (check out that custom Got Calcium? poster we printed up – the only other one we know of was seen on the set of The Big Bang Theory! Can you pick out the other “as seen on TV” props?):



Sara and Moe in the kitchen:



Sara and Erik shooting the first food segment:


We interviewed a whole series of people who have cool jobs at Goddard. They included Ed Cheung who works on the Robotics Refuelling Mission, which will demonstrate on-orbit refueling of another spacecraft…



…Eric Newman, who works in procurement, writing big checks for things like contracts:


…Paula Cain, who works on making thermal blankets for satellites and the space station:




…Kevin Boyce, an engineer who worked on the last Hubble servicing mission, who is currently working on the x-ray ASTRO-H mission:


…Cathie Peddie, Deputy Project Manager for the WFIRST Project, which will do exoplanet and dark energy research.


…Amber Straughn, a scientist who is working on the James Webb Space Telescope:


…John Mather, Nobel Laureate and Webb Telescope project scientist, as well as his helpful secretary, Eileen Barnes (not pictured):


…and last but not least, Leon Bailey, who taught Erik about the right kind of bunny suits to wear in the clean room:


(hint, it’s not this kind)



You can imagine the reactions of random Goddard folks passing by, seeing Erik in his bunny suit. I think that was half of the fun! When Erik told us that he was going to obtain his own suit and do this gag, we were excited. But we also obtained the real deal for him, just in case he needed to enter a contamination-controlled space. All that faux fur on his version would be Leon’s nightmare in the cleanroom!


Sara and Erik:


I think everyone tried on that space suit at some point.  How could we resist the opportunity? (Thanks to Marcia Fiamengo and The Federation of Galaxy Explorers for the loan!)  This is what happens at the end of a 16-hour shoot, when you’re fueled by space food and possibly suffering the effects of wearing an astronaut costume on a sweltering day in Maryland:





Also, I got the chance to sample some of the space food – I really liked the stroganoff!


The Chipotle snack bread (used in the NASAlmon Souffle) was also tasty!


We still geek out over the leftover packets that are sitting in Sara’s office.


A big thank to everyone who helped us out with this shoot! I wanted to again mention our reader, Jeffrey Sugar, who asked if he could stop by and watch and ended up helping us out nearly all day. Thanks also to Sarah Eyermann for her help, and to Nick Cummings for fetching our lunches (which weren’t eaten until 5pm).

We’ll post an interview with Erik and Moe later this week, to find out more from them about their experiences visiting Goddard and cooking with space food.

Lastly, find out from this link how to join in a “virtual dinner” with the final shuttle crew on July 14th!


  • Ed says:

    Hilarious! That was a lot of fun to watch!

  • Buzz Lightyear says:

    hahaha…that guy in the bunny suit is hilarious… :)

  • optimus prime says:

    Is that a real space suit? It looks like a halloween costume or something, and not the real astronaut suit? I would have thought that a real astronaut suit would be more bulky & sturdy…

    • Sara Mitchell says:

      Optimus – No, it’s not a real space suit! We borrowed this costume model from some friends at another NASA center.

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