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Foodies at NASA

Sara and I chatted with Erik Trinidad (and Moe Murdock) from Fancy Fast Food about their experience visiting NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. They got to see a lot of very cool stuff, like the James Webb Space Telescope’s ISIM structure (it will hold Webb’s instruments) spinning on the centrifuge. It was a special treat to witness that we dropped everything to check it out once we got word it was happening. We also introduced them to a bunch of people who have some of the coolest and most diverse jobs at Goddard.

Like this – what a cool and interesting job!

Here’s what they had to say about their experience here at Goddard Space Flight Center. Please note their opinions are their own and not representative of those of NASA.

Moe, Sara, Maggie, astronaut Paul Richards, and Erik. Credit: Erik Trinidad

Blueshift – What got you interested in doing this collaborative thing that we did?

Erik – Well, I was doing a Fancy Fast Food demo at Blog World in Las Vegas last year, and Sara and Maggie from NASA Blueshift came to see me. I ran into them in the hallway and they thought it might be cool to do a collaboration. Of course, I said yes; who wouldn’t want to do something with NASA?

Moe – Who gets to go to NASA and shoot a semi-funny exploratory documentary about the NASA unmanned space program? That to me seemed like too good a suggestion to pass up. So, of course I said “yes” when my buddy Erik asked me if I could help.

Blueshift – Are you big space/scifi geeks?

Erik – I’m a big geek in terms of video games, and cartoons, and gadgets. As for science, I would say I’m a medium geek. I was more into Star Wars over Star Trek growing up, although the newer Star Trek stuff is pretty cool. I was a pretty devout follower of the new Battlestar Galactica, which I’m sad is over.

Blueshift – What was your first thought when you received the box of space food from Johnson Space Center?

Erik – When I saw the box and the NASA label on it, I was naturally pretty excited. I mean, who gets space food from NASA? Inside were many things off the NASA menu that we got from Houston and I struggled with not opening anything right away, because we had a limited supply and had to use most of it on camera.

Moe – I thought, “It has Russian on it! We’re like spies but with food… SpyFood…”

Blueshift – What was the best thing you tried from the space food samples? The worst?

Erik – Surprisingly most of it was pretty good. The chicken teriyaki was good, the turkey tetrazinni, the waffles. The crawfish ettouffee was a little weird because it looks like vomit. Maybe the worst of it is the chipotle snack bread because it’s got a weird spongy, wet cardboard texture to it, but it was still edible.


Fancy Space Food Part 6

Blueshift – I (Maggie) think I liked the beef stroganoff best, and turkey tetrazinni next. I only had a nibble of the waffles at our shoot, but they were good. The chipotle snack bread was actually not bad. It was surprisingly spicy. But then we remembered when they shot that NASA/Top Chef episode and they said that taste was actually affected so things with stronger flavor were preferred.

Pictured clockwise from top right: Chicken Teriyaki, Turkey Tetrazinni, Beef Stroganoff, Crawfish Ettouffee

Blueshift – If you were going into space, what food(s) would you want the most?

Erik – Ha, the space ice cream, because I know they don’t have it up there now.

Blueshift – As Paul Richards says, it does taste like chalk, but that is part of the appeal, right? Tell us some of the punny space-themed names you came up with for the dishes you could make.

Erik – We were going to make an “Astroroulade du poulet,” but the bread was too flaky to roll. We made “Solar Eclairs” during the shoot, but that got edited out. We also toyed with making “Jupiterrine de Boeuf,” “Terramisu,” “Cosmole Chicken,” and “Astroulet de Porc et Saucisson.”

Fancy Space Food Part 13
The NASAlmon Souffle we did feature in our video.

Blueshift – What was the coolest/weirdest thing that you saw during your visit to Goddard?

Erik – Hmm, the coolest thing was the big room with all the motors and engines and “big machines” that we faked the “simulated space environment” in. The centrifuge was cool too. As for the weirdest thing, nothing really comes to mind, although I think it’s funny that NASA is just across the street from a strip mall.

Moe – The Star Wars: Episode vending machine.  I couldn’t believe that they had that at NASA.

Blueshift – What surprised you most during our collaboration?

Erik – Definitely the politics of approvals and schedules, etc.  But in the end, it all worked out.

Blueshift – What else will you do with your bunny suit?

Erik – Go to business meetings with rabbits.


Blueshift – When will we get you guys back down to visit? ;)

Erik – That depends on when we get invited again. ;-)

Moe – When you allow us to drive a shuttle around the NASA campus!

If you haven’t watched the video we shot with Erik and Moe, here it is again:

You can also read Erik’s Fancy Fast Food blog entry on NASAlmon Souffle and our Behind the Scenes look at making the video.

Erik, Sara, Maggie, and Moe after a long day’s work. Credit: Erik Trinidad


  • Michael Osbon says:

    It would be an awesome experience to be able to taste all the food and get a glimpse of the lives of the astronauts.

  • frozen fruit smoothie says:

    Humans are designed to live on a 1g environment, in certain temperature and pressure ranges. Having to overcome all of that to get into space and to survive there is quite a challenge. You don’t really think of food as being a priority but the time and effort that has to go into all of the foods for astronauts is quite something.

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