What's It Really Like Living On An Astronaut's Diet?

Everything about traveling through space sounds spectacular. From the views to the experience of zero gravity, it seems like it would be an absolute dream. The one thing that sounds like a drag is how NASA feeds astronauts in space. International Space Station food is mostly stuff that won’t go bad. It’s essentially made up of freeze-dried items that will keep astronauts healthy and help them hit their 2,500 daily calorie limit. That may sound like a lot of calories but when you’re eating zero gravity foods, it’s pretty easy to lose your appetite.

So what do astronauts actually eat? Meals in outer space are mostly composed of freeze-dried space food like spinach, tortillas (lots of tortillas), and trail mix, but in the nearly 60 years that humans have been going to space there have been a few astronaut food recipes that have been created on those long nights aboard the ISS.

Astronaut food vs. real food definitely leaves something to be desired, but it’s improving every day. Researchers know that if astronauts had to eat applesauce and tortillas for the entirety of a five year mission to Mars they would jettison their bodies into the vacuum of space, so they’re working on meals that taste good and hold their nutritional value for long periods of time. Some scientists are even working on taking the bodily waste of astronauts and turning that into a meal. Your stomach’s probably growling already.