SPACE FOOD — Curious about what astronauts ate during the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon? See below for highlights from NASA’s original press kit for the 1972 mission. All photos are taken from inside the command module, featuring astronaut Ron Evans. (Note that one image shows Evans with a pair of surgical scissors. Evans lost his scissors at some point before his fellow spacemen Gene Cernan and Jack Scmitt went down to the lunar surface while he waited in orbit. To prevent him from starving in space, Schmitt was left with one of their pairs. Crisis averted!). More about Apollo 17 cuisine:
- "The Apollo 17 crew selected menus for their flight from the largest variety of foods ever available for a U.S. manned mission. As on Apollo 16, the preflight, inflight, and postflight diets are being monitored to facilitate interpretation of the medical tests."
- "Menus were designed upon individual crewmember physiological requirements in the unique conditions of weightlessness and one-sixth gravity on the lunar surface. Daily menus provide approximately 2500 calories per day for each crewmember."
- "Food items are assembled into meal units and identified as to crewmember and sequence of consumption. Foods stored in the ‘pantry’ may be used as substitutions for nominal meal items so long as the nutrient intake for a 24-hour period is not altered significantly."
- "There are various types of food used in the menus. These include freeze-dried rehydratables in spoon-bowl packages; thermostabilized foods (wet packs) in flexible packages and metal easy-open cans: intermediate moisture foods: dry bite-size cubes: and beverages."
- "Water for drinking and rehydrating food is obtained from two sources in the Command Module — a portable dispenser for drinking water and a water spigot at the food preparation station which supplies water at about 145 degrees and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The potable water dispenser provides a continuous flow of water as long as the trigger is held down, while the food preparation spigot dispenses water in one-ounce increments."
- "A continuous-flow water dispenser similar to the one in the Command Module is used aboard the Lunar Module for cold water reconstitution of food stowed aboard the Lunar Module."
- "Water is injected into a food package and the package is kneaded and allowed to sit for several minutes. The bag top is then cut to open and the food eaten with a spoon."
- "After a meal, germicide tablets are placed in each bag to prevent fermentation of any residual food and gas formation."
- "The bags are then rolled and stowed in waste disposal areas in the spacecraft."
It is Official: We are Not Coming Back
NASA chief rules out manned Moon mission in the foreseeable future. NASA administrator Charles Bolden has dismissed the idea that the space agency will attempt another manned Moon mission. Speaking with contemporaries, Bolden said “NASA will not take the lead on a human lunar mission… probably in my lifetime.”
Credit: Charles Conrad, Apollo 12, NASA.