NASA expects a manned mission to Mars to take place in the 2030s but before that happens, researchers are hard at work to find a better meal plan for astronauts. During the six-month trip required to reach the Red Planet, what nutritionists call “food boredom” could set in, meaning that astronauts would eat less because of their bland meal plans. The result would be weight loss and malnutrition, increasing the likelihood of mission failure. So what’s the key? NASA says the most difficult meal to cook in space is stir fry since it requires hot oil to be frequently agitated. Experiments on low-gravity cooking have shown that oil splatters further, more frequently, and in larger drops than in terrestrial kitchens.
What’s the Big Idea?
Once we’ve arrived on Mars, physicist Michio Kaku has a plan to terraform the planet, making it habitable for plant and animal life. Rather than truck lots of hardware from Earth, which would be very costly, astronauts could take advantage of the Red Planet’s natural resources: