Kitchen for astronauts

During the flight, "The Union" — "Apollo" commander Alexei Leonov Soviet ship joke — for tubes with juice vodka label stuck.

Biruliovsky pilot plant RAAS "lives" in the village of Izmailovo Leninsky district, Moscow region. Here, in the "Zeche space food", food designed more for Yuri Gagarin

Daria TOKAREVA — 12.04.2011

Once the paste in a tube
When people talk about food astronauts, I immediately an association with a tube of toothpaste. It seems to be of such a package feed on orbit?
— In tubes produce only toothpaste! — Somewhat resentfully explained director of SRI industry food concentrates and special food technology RAAS Viktor Dobrovolsky. — Food for astronauts released a 165-gram tubes.
Indeed, the first test with plant foods that are packaged in such a way, he shot himself Yuri. He was first a test meal in orbit. He spent the space of 108 minutes. But for him, prepared nine different dishes: soup and and potatoes with a cutlet, and juices.
— Yuri had to try all the products — said Dobrowolski. — Experts did not know then how weightlessness affects the taste buds of man. It could be that there is this kind of food astronauts just can not. In addition, it was necessary to understand whether it is convenient to such conditions of tube feeding. Yuri reassured us: food in space is not only possible, but necessary!
The hardest part of creating space food — to make sure that it does not take up much space was nutritious and can be stored for a long time. Work astronaut orbiting complex. To keep fit and health under such a load, men need to consume 3200 calories per day, for women — 2800.
With the first flight was easier: trips into orbit were short-lived. From specialists only required to provide the necessary calories astronaut. Therefore, the diet consisted of homogenized first and second courses, zapakovanyh in those same tube. But the duration of flights increased, and plant designers have come up with special canned food. All anything, but for breakfast, lunch and dinner to eat mashed potatoes and canned frayed during the months tired of even the most picky people. Therefore, more and more often in direct communication with Earth astronauts sighed:
— Here is a soup my mother’s homemade pies … yes

And so far looks diet astronaut on the ISS.

Honeyed MORE
Experts realized: to please the Conquerors of Space, create products, most reminiscent of home-cooked meals.
— So long tube thing of the past. Now they just keep mustard, various sauces, spices and, of course, the cosmic favorite — honey — continues Dobrovolsky. — In place of tubam already in the 1970s came, freeze-dried foods. For our research, the products subjected to sublimation at 90 percent and retain food palatability. But the process of preparing this food difficult. In special installations natural raw frozen to -70 degrees, then vacuum it quickly dried at a similar temperature, but with the advantage.
As a result, the product becomes weightless — all the moisture evaporates — but retains the natural characteristics, however, like proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins. The main benefit of Russian products for astronauts — the absence of any stabilizers or preservatives — only natural ingredients. U.S. manufacturers can not do without chemistry. Yes, and diet in the domestic producer is much richer. Only during the lifetime of the plant was constructed (so called here cooking dinner space) Three hundred different dishes.
Now astronauts may choose from 160. Here and entrees to suit different tastes and colors — soup, pickle, pea soup and the peasant, and the second — pasta with mushrooms, baked beef, stew, burgers of all kinds. However, at first glance, it looks like the notorious doshirak. Small vacuum bag weighing no more than 50 grams, and in some gruel.
Dobrovolsky demonstrates a wonderful transformation of this mixture into a delicious lunch.
— Astronaut cuts one end of the package is pumping 50 grams of hot water. Next we have to stretch your cake and wait five minutes.
In my eyes in a bag appears delicious stew with buckwheat. You can shoot
trial! Even the plates are not needed. Much tastier than in the dining room at work! Juicy, moderately salted and the meat melts in your mouth.
— And what is most fond of the astronauts?
— Everyone has their own preferences. But the absolute leader — freeze-dried cottage cheese — says Dobrowolski. — His love to all. But female astronauts have a sweet tooth and prefer a little more sweets and pastries with sweet fillings.

Pick and choose
Try other delicious dishes I was not given — the daily ration astronaut costs money. It includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a free meal (anything from sweets — candies, dried fruits, kozinaki). Briquettes are placed into a container on a per spaceman on four days. And no one dish at this time is not repeated. The factory has developed an 8-day diet. In the coming years, experts promise to create a 16-day!
Taste preferences of each astronaut counted. When a new diet for tasting invite those who are going into orbit. They evaluate each product on a nine-point scale. And depending on the results of the diet is made.
— My wife is also preparing delicious! — Shares his impressions as a test cosmonaut Sergei Moshchenko. — But the factory canned fish — perch under mayonnaise sauce — not worse! And soups eat with pleasure. A true bread is made only by our craftsmen. There are Borodino, and rye, and white. Foreigners always include it in your diet.
However, guess what you want for the first time in orbit, it’s hard. Many taste preferences are changing. On Earth, favorite food — burgers, and in orbit — pickle.
— Typically, the astronauts are divided among themselves. ‘ve Never been someone to sit hungry — said Dobrowolski. — In the near future astronauts allowed themselves to grow herbs in orbit. Food should be fun, not only to meet strict standards of calories and metabolism. Hence, it should be enriched with potassium, calcium and other vitamins.
Recently, experts sent astronauts ‘living’ cucumbers, tomatoes, oranges, apples, green onions and garlic. Their crew eats first thing.
— In the future, we have a task to create a full diet for a period of more than 3 years. For a flight to Mars and other planets. Accordingly, the more products you need and will have to increase shelf life. How do we achieve this — a mystery — slyly concluded the expert. It was clear that the way how to get to otgadku, he already knows.
Today Biruliovsky plant provides 80 percent of the demand for space crews in the food. At another plant in Moscow made bread, and in St. Petersburg — canned fish.

In orbit for 50 years of space exploration has delivered over 80 tons of food. Made up of about 50,000 food rations.
The average lunch one astronaut in orbit is 18,000 rubles. This is only the cost of manufacturing products, without the costs of shipping into orbit.

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