NASA astronaut Leland Melvin on the flight deck of the Space Shuttle Atlantis with his typical day’s worth of food. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his day’s worth of food in the month of February was 2700 kcals. He is 45 years of age; 6 feet tall; and 205 pounds. The early days of space travel were dominated by Tang, Space Food Sticks, and a variety of pastes squeezed from aluminum tubes—all designed to prevent the levitation of liquids and crumbs, which can be hazardous to the equipment. Over the years, space menus have become more palatable, and now astronauts can even enjoy fresh fruits for the first few days of a mission. The challenges of weightlessness extend to photography. Even with three fellow astronauts helping to wrangle Leland’s floating food as shuttle commander Charles Hobaugh took the photo, all of the items in Leland’s daily fare aren’t clearly visible. Photo credit: NASA MODEL RELEASED.
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