01/27/2013 10:25 am ET

50 Years Of NASA's Space Food Packaging Documented

Responsible for providing flight crews with food systems that are safe, the advanced food technology project from NASA focuses on meal preparation for space missions -- delivering proper nutrition to astronauts, while still balancing appropriate vehicle mass, volume, waste, and making cooking times more efficient. For over 50 years, the methods involved in the preservation process have evolved from pilots eating seed and crackers - allowing for gourmet diets like freeze dried shrimp and meats to be eaten (without sacrifying home-cooked flavor). The following curated images take a look into how the cuisine has transformed over the last half-century including the apollo and mercury space missions.