BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Space is not only the ultimate frontier but also the ultimate challenge for mankind. Give the current technological advance, man can easily plot a course towards the Red planet. However, there are a couple of things not sorted out yet, the astronaut’s diet being one of them. Here is how to diet in space, according to NASA’s dietary guidelines.
As stated, there are a couple of things we should sort out before making the big trip to Mars. If we can recall correctly, the movie “The Martian” managed to stress out the necessity of elaborating systems capable of growing crops. The plants not only help to replenish the sources of oxygen, but they are a primary food source for the astronauts. And yes, it may be possible for someone to survive on a potato-based diet.
Hydroponic gardens they’re called these make-shift vegetable gardens, a word heard so many times by those who are into science fiction. Well, to make a long story short, this is exactly the sort of thing NASA needs in order to feed the space-faring crew.
Furthermore, the source of food is not the only things we should have in mind when it comes to great expeditions. Several hundred years ago, during the age of great exploration, sailors spending too much time on shore were struck down by a terrible malady, known today as scurvy. But they soon discovered that if they ate fruits packed with vitamin C, the disease won’t show its hideous face.
The same thing applies when the age of industry came. Tons of canned food were deposited aboard the ship, due to the fact that it was not as perishable as fresh food. However, after some time, the crew began to show symptoms of yet another disease called saturnism (intoxication with heavy metals, more specifically with the lead used to manufacture the cans).
As we can see, there is a pattern here. There are certain things we have to take into account before we can make the big leap. Here is how to diet in space. According to NASA’s recent guidelines on diet, all the food served by astronauts must be packed with nutrients in order to ensure that they do not fall ill to certain space-related diseases, such as muscle dystrophy, bone loss, radiation sickness, metabolical changes and last, but not least, auto-immune diseases.
Obesity is still an issue, although fat has little to no effect on the cholesterol levels. Still, sugar and starch should be avoided at all cost.
All these and other issues must be resolved before the scheduled trip to Mars, which should last approximately 3 years, given the fact that the astronauts must cross a distance of 225 million kilometers.