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SpaceVidcast Daily 16.08.09

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When you spend a ton of time away from home, one of the things you may start to crave is comfort food. Well, when you're 55 million miles away from home, comfort food does not come easy. NASA is planning on sending manned missions to Mars in 2030, but before they can, they need to figure out how they're going to feed everyone. One of the issues that's come up, and something I hadn't even thought of before, is the actual packaging of the meals. See if you want something to have a long shelf life, as would be needed in this case, you prefer to have everything sealed with as little extra moisture and air and keep it in as dark a place as possible. At this time, one of the best ways to do that is to pack the meals in a foil-lined bag. The problem is that when you pack all 26,280 of these things together, they tend to get a little heavy. Solution: lighter plastic bags. Problem: Too much light, too permeable by moisture and air. Not good. Another issue that's being looked at is shelf life. For food on the ISS, there's a mandatory shelf life of 2 years. Eeew! But for a quick little trip to Mars, NASA is asking for a 5 year shelf life. Double Eeew! And unless we expect our first Martian explorers to eat goo like their forefathers, we need to come up with some better solutions. Why 5 years you may ask? It only takes about 8 months to get there, you know, depending on who's driving. You have to take into account that you'd want to migrate to and from the planet when it's at its closest to Earth. That usually means staying on Mars for about a year and a half. NASA's hoping to have this food issue figured out by 2015 or so. In the meantime, one of the consolations to the extra heavy food bags is that they can always be used for collecting Mars soil samples. Or for storing dirty laundry. Eeew.

Video Details

Duration: 1 minute and 57 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Benjamin Higginbotham
Director: Benjamin Higginbotham
Views: 70
Posted by: spacevidcaster on Aug 21, 2009

When spend a ton of time away from home one of the things you may start to crave is "comfort food". Well, when you are 55 million miles away from home, comfort food does not come easy.

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