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'I'd Like to See a Menu, Please'

IMAGE: Astronaut Jerry Ross

STS-110 Mission Specialist Jerry Ross floats with a tray of food. Read his meal menus.

Menu planning for a Space Station crew begins when the crewmembers visit the Space Food Systems Laboratory. They essentially try every food item available and give each item a "score." The crew goes to Russia and repeats the process, this time with the Russian food system.

Once all the food samples are scored, sample menus are created by the United States and Russia. Those menus are then merged together, so the end result will usually have about an equal amount of food from U.S. and Russian systems. The astronauts will visit the Space Food Systems Laboratory again to try out these sample menus and make sure that they are completely satisfied with their choices.

However, in space, the menus are seldom used.

"We use the menu as a planning tool," said Vickie Kloeris, Johnson Space Center manager of Space Food Systems. "We do provide a copy of the menu to them. We put it in a container with the food, but they don't necessarily eat it in the order that we've planned it."

SAMPLE MENU
BREAKFAST
Raspberry Yogurt (T)
Sausage Pattie (R)
Picante Sauce (FF)
Tortilla (FF) X2
Oatmeal w/Raisins (R)
Granola Bar (NF) X2
Orange-Pineapple Drink (B)
Kona Coffee w/C & S (B) X2
LUNCH
Beef Jerky (FF)
Grilled Pork Chop (T)
Macaroni & Cheese (R)
Tortilla (FF) X2
Almonds (NF)
Trail Mix (IM) X2
Cherry Blueberry Cobbler (T)
Candy Coated Chocolates (NF)
Orange-Pineapple Drink (B) X2
DINNER
Spicy Chicken & Vegetables (R)
Potatoes au Gratin (R)
Fruit Cocktail (T)
Dried Apricots (IM)
Macadamia Nuts (NF)
Granola Bar (NF) X2
Orange-Mango Drink (B) X2
Abbreviations: (B) Beverage(FF) Fresh Food(I) Irradiated
(IM) Intermediate Moisture(NF) Natural Form(R) Rehydratable(T) Thermostabilized

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 05/13/2004
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