What do astronauts eat at Christmas on the ISS?
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As Christmas Day approaches, most of us will be looking forward to a grand family feast of turkey and trimmings, washed down with our favourite wine. But spare a thought for the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), who will be eating their Christmas dinner out of cans and pouches. The menu has not been revealed yet but if past Christmases are anything to go by, it will most likely be turkey with corn bread stuffing, alongside green beans and mashed potatoes. There may even be fruit salad, cranapple or chocolate cake, depending on the preferences of the astronauts. Currently aboard the ISS are Scott Tingle, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of Nasa, Anton Shkaplerov and Alexander Misurkin of Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa). Last year the European Space Agency’s Thomas Pesquet shared his French Christmas dinner of ox tongue, chicken supreme with morels and gingerbread with his fellow astronauts. And in 2015, Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal teamed up with the UK Space Agency, the ESA and Nasa to design meals for British spaceman Tim Peake, which included his Christmas grub. Peake, who had only been on the ISS for nine days, tucked into Blumenthal’s bacon sandwich on Christmas morning and a pudding later in the day. But unlike our goose fat roast potatoes and honey-roasted parsnips straight from the oven, the astronauts’ meals will come out of dehydrated packaging and tins. Vacuum-packed food and drinks make up much of the menu because water, a by-product of the spacecraft’s fuel cells, is abundantly available for food preparation.
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