Dining on the Space Station

Uploaded by ReelNASA on 30.12.2010

>> Hi. I'm Scott Kelly, commander
of the expedition 26 crew aboard the International Space Station.
What I wanted to try to do today is give you a sense for what our situation is on board,
with regards to food and beverages, how we prepare that,
what options we have and how we eat here in space.
So, first thing I'd like to do is get started with our, where our food is kept.
The food that we're actually using is kept in Node 1 of the space station
and it's basically in these food containers.
Metal food containers or in some bags that we have here staged for our use.
But these food containers are categorized in different categories, I guess you'd say
and we have some that are side dishes, meats in pouches and cans, vegetables,
and they're actually packaged in different ways.
For instance, most of the meat we have and other kind of main dishes are packaged
in these green containers and we heat these up in a small food warmer
and I'll show you what that looks like.
But basically, they're little green packages of meat and in this case,
this is beef tips with mushrooms and we have crawfish etouffee.
And these are what's called "irradiated food," so they're hit with large doses of radiation
to kill any bacteria so they can stay at room temperature and not spoil.
There's also some stuff in here that's kind of off the shelf, like this tuna fish that we have.
We also have some rehydratable food items.
Water is heavy and I'll talk a little bit about our water later, but they take the water
out of the food because it's more efficient to add it once we get on board and I'll talk
about how we make our water here in a little bit.
But we have these rehydratable food packages.
For instance, here's one.
I'll make this for lunch.
It's asparagus and it's in a little plastic container with some dehydrated asparagus.
In this case, I'll add 50 milliliters of water to it and it takes 5 to 10 minutes to rehydrate.
So with that, I'd like to show you how we prepare this food.
How we add water, warm it up and a little bit about the beverages on board as well.
So come join me in the lab where that's accomplished.
Now we're in the US laboratory module.
And the first thing I want to show you is how we heat up these green packages of food.
And these are a lot like the, what's called "MREs" in the military, "meals ready to eat."
And you know, matter of fact, I think they come from the same company that the US military uses.
Whereas these other packages are produced at the food lab at the Johnson Space Center.
So this is basically, this is our food warmer.
And it's basically a suitcase with some heating elements in it.
And we can put a number of different food packages in here.
Basically we just close it up and turn it on and in about 20 minutes,
that package of food will be warm.
So next, I want to talk about how we add water,
both to our drink packages and to the food packages.
And that's also done in the laboratory module, on the ceiling.
And there is a potable water dispenser there
that dispenses both room temperature and hot water.
So let's go over there and check that out.
So here we are by the potable water dispenser, which is on the ceiling here
in the laborator module of the space station.
And we get our water from different places.
The resupply vehicles will bring up water, the shuttle makes water as a function
of how it produces electricity, but we also get water from the Russian progress vehicles
and soon from the Japanese and the European resupply vehicles bring up water as well.
The other way we get water is we make it ourselves, on board, from the condensate
that is produced in the air due to humidity and also from our urine.
And believe it or not, the water that is produced from our urine actually tastes better
than any tap water I've ever tasted in the United States.
It tastes better than the water on the space shuttle.
It's really clear, good quality water.
So basically we have a way to fill these little packages and introduce certain,
or specific volumes of both hot and room temperature water.
So, I'll heat up this, or rehydrate this asparagus, and I basically just put it in here
and I normally don't do this from this position.
And I'll put 50 milliliters of hot water in there, heat it up, and as you can see,
it now has water in it and it's rehydrating and this will take 5 to 10 minutes
and I'll put some water into my drink bag.
I'll put 250 milliliters of water in this drink bag for lemonade.
Most of the drinks are kind of sweet.
Most of the time I don't drink these sweet drinks.
Most of the time I just drink water or coffee.
Then what we do is just put a straw in here and the other nice thing we have
on board is a very small refrigerator.
And it'll cool these drinks up very nicely.
And the next thing I want to show you is how we eat this stuff once it's both rehydrated,
cooled off in our little fridge and warmed up in our food warmer.
So, please join me back in Node 1 around the dinner table where we eat.
We're back in Node 1 where we generally use as our kitchen or dining area.
And I'm going to show you how we eat this food.
Obviously, it's in these packages that we have to cut open
and basically we just eat all this stuff right out of the packaging.
So I'm going to cut open my beef stew and as you can see,
some of it's trying to escape on me already.
I generally will eat these things one at a time just because it's easier to manage
without having to put this stuff down.
As you can see, it doesn't look too bad.
It's actually pretty tasty.
That was one of my Russian crew members that went by.
But it ain't bad.
Yep. The one in the lab is mine.
So, that's the beef stew.
[Indistinct talking] This isn't the asparagus I made
because the asparagus floated away somewhere.
Not sure where it went.
I'm sure it'll turn up in a couple of days.
And we didn't have any more asparagus so I made some green beans and mushrooms.
So we cut this open and just eat it right out of the package.
That was Oleg Skripochka again, going back to the Russian segment.
And what I generally do, especially at night while eating dinner is watch the news
and ground sends up NBC Nightly News every day, except on the weekends.
So I watch it on the computer.
They also send up television shows.
>> Brian Williams: On our broadcast tonight, surprise appearance.
Will two presidents do the trick in selling Congress on a tax deal
that the current president agreed to?
Just as a long time problem has come to an end...
>> Scott Kelly: Here's the cooled lemonade.
A little on the sweet side for me, but not too bad.
And also, we have dessert here.
We've got various kinds of things to eat for dessert.
Some of it is packaged like the beef stew, others are rehydratable
and other items are just, you know, in these individual packages.
So here I got dried peaches and some candy coated peanuts.
>> Brian Williams: You're President Barack Obama, you're fighting with Congress
over a tax deal, and some of your own people are defecting, so who do you call
when you call out the reinforcements?
The answer is: you call the last Democratic president.
The two men burst in the door...
>> Scott Kelly: Like I said, peaches and candy coated almonds.
And I'm going to select the almonds because they look much better floating
around than the dried peaches.
The peaches aren't bad.
>> Brian Williams: ...who witnessed all this in the briefing room [inaudible]
>> Well good evening, Brian.
Look, for most of the day today, the tax debate has been dominated
by Vermont's independent self-described [inaudible] senator Bernie Sanders who's been
speaking on the floor of the United States Senate, by himself,
continuously, since about 10:30 this morning.
Well about 4 o'clock today, clearly the White House had had enough.
So instead of briefing reporters about President Obama's private meeting with President Clinton,
President Obama decided to trot out President Clinton himself
to greet reporters while it turned into a de facto ex-Presidential press conference.
>> President Clinton: ...the best bipartisan agreement we can reach
to help the largest number of Americans and to maximize the chances that the economics...
>> Scott Kelly: Pretty good.
>> President Clinton: ...create more jobs and to minimize the chances that it will slip back.
There's never a perfect bi-partisan bill...
>> Scott Kelly: Dealing with the garbage here on board is somewhat of a challenge
that you don't have the garbage man coming a couple times a week.
We actually have to store our trash on board for several months.
So it's important that it doesn't take up a whole lot of space.
So, we already put the green beans in there, in this, kind of in the plastic bag
that one of the other food items came in.
And we also want to get as much of the moisture out of these, this garbage,
so it can then be turned back into drinkable water with our system
that converts the humidity and urine into potable water.
So, try to get as much as of the moisture out of these stuff as we can and so just make sure
that the packages are as dry as possible.
And obviously, if I drink this, eventually it's going to wind up back
in the potable water system versus coming to a fiery end in the reentry of one
of the progress vehicles that carries our garbage.
Well, it is basically as dry as possible.
And then we separate our wet trash from our dry trash.
Because the wet trash, you know, can get more smelly.
And so we put our wet trash in these Russian waterproof bags and one of these will last me,
as the only US crew member on board here, well over a week.
Get this as small as we possibly can, filled up and eventually will go in the progress.
Dry trash is stored separately in a long plastic trash bag,
but I don't have one of those right here to show you.
In any case, I hope you enjoyed joining me here for lunch on the International Space Station
and learned a little bit about how we manage and deal with the food and beverages on board.
Thanks for joining me today.