Previous space missions have all had food developed for zero gravity, but because Mars actually has a little gravity, it enables NASA to consider major changes to the current space menu, including the possibility that astronauts could do some of their own chopping, cooking, even tending a "Martian greenhouse," which would provide the astronauts with a variety of fruits and veggies. A big concern is how to pack in protein in the all-vegetarian diet:
Already, Cooper's team of three has come up with about 100 recipes, all vegetarian because the astronauts will not have dairy or meat products available. To ensure the vegetarian diet packs the right amount of protein, the researchers are designing a variety of dishes that include tofu and nuts, including a Thai pizza that has no cheese but is covered with carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, scallions, peanuts and a spicy sauce.
Isn't it fascinating to think that a menu and eating plan like this is even an option so far out in space?
See More Photos: Cooking For Mars at The Wall Street Journal
(Image: Michael Stravato/Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal)