How the NASA Space Food Research Lab Works

How the NASA Space Food Research Lab Works: Author’s Note

Food science and food technology fascinate me. Although I try not to eat much processed food in my diet, I find myself both repulsed and delighted by foods such as blue french fries and tang. So I was happy to immerse myself in the world of space food science for this assignment.

Space food has come a long way since the era of John Glenn. Back in the early 1960s, astronauts referred to their meals as “meals in a pill,” but these days astronauts often eat the same foods we do, just processed and packaged a bit differently. What was most surprising was how much can be done by the food science teams at the Johnson Space Center, everything from menu planning and the analysis of the physical and sensory aspects of foods to food product development, research and development of long-term storage and food processing techniques.



  • "Beyond Tang: Food in Space." Morning Edition. National Public Radio. 2007.
  • Borsche, Catherine E. "Get a Taste of the Future!" Roundup. NASA. 2004.
  • Bourland, Charles. "Space Food Packaging Facts. Iowa State University 2002.
  • "Food For Space Flight." Human Space Flight. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 2002.
  • French, S. "Space Food Systems Laboratory Shelf Life Analysis Operations Guideline." Human & Environmental Factors Office; Habitability & Human Factors Office; Food Development Projects Group. Johnson Space Center. NASA. 2003.
  • Kloeris, Vickie. "Field Journal: Eating on the ISS." NASA Quest. 2001.
  • Kloeris, Vickie. "Field Journal: Space Food Systems - What the astronauts eat in space." NASA Quest. 2001.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC). National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 2005.
  • "NASA Facts: Space Food." National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 2002. http://
  • NASA FTCSC Food Packaging Research Funding Program. Iowa State University. 2005.
  • Odenwald, Sten. Research Professor of Astronomy, Catholic University.
  • Perchonok, Michele. "The Challenges of Developing a Food System for a Mars Mission." Johnson Space Center, NASA. 2005.
  • "Space Food and Nutrition: An Educator's Guide With Activities in Science and Mathematics." NASA Spacelink. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). http://
  • Space Food Systems Laboratory. Habitability & Environmental Factors Division. Johnson Space Center. NASA. 2008.
  • Sullivan, Megan. "NASA Food Scientist." National Science Teachers Association. 2006.
  • "Women of NASA." NASA Quest.