08/15/2012 12:00 pm ET Updated Aug 15, 2012

NASA's 'Space Nutrition' eBook Reveals All About Astronaut Food

Space food, anyone? A new iPad children's book by NASA, Space Nutrition, invites space stargazers of all ages to learn about eating habits in the cosmos. The eBook is available for free online.

Its iTunes description explains that the space program "has come a long way" from the "early days of eating food packed in toothpaste tubes." BoingBoing points us toward a review by Veronique Greenwood at Download the Universe, who highlights the eBook's notable aspects:

...the book's primary charm is in the photographs and asides that you can’t find in a Wikipedia article on the subject. One photogallery is full of snapshots taken by excited Nutritional Biochemistry Lab members as they drive to Kennedy Space Center to pick up astronaut blood samples from the ISS, which they use to determine the effects of space flight on nutrient absorption, bones, and muscles. The shots of the Experiment Payload truck that retrieves the samples and of the little blue NASA duffel bags they are carried home in give the process of space research a refreshing physicality.

Other highlights include descriptions of tortillas that last almost a year and why a person would need three hands to make a traditional sandwich in space.

Space Nutrition also explains why crumbs are so bad in space -- they fly around and clog instruments -- and offers up foods found on various space flights. Among the dishes that have seen orbit: shrimp cocktail, chicken and vegetables, pudding, applesauce, bread slices, cheddar cheese spread, frankfurters, fruit juice, steak and vanilla ice cream.



Space Food