Feeds

NASA seeks cooks for Mars trip simulation

No bean or cabbage recipes, please

Application security programs and practises

NASA is looking for volunteers to prepare foods during a simulated Mars mission that will see six lucky people locked in close proximity for 120 days.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii and Cornell University are looking for volunteers for the simulation, dubbed the Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue & Simulation (HI-SEAS), which will aim to solve the problems of space cuisine. The purpose is to make sure that astronauts making the long trip to Mars get proper nutrition on the trip.

Food for preparation in zero gravity is a well-established industry, and the problems of feeding people in space have led to some interesting – and by all accounts, horrible – taste and texture combinations. But it has been noted that after long periods of the same sorts of foods, “menu fatigue” sets in, and the food is less attractive. Orbital travel already takes a toll on muscles and skeletal development, so the team are going to experiment with cooking actual food as well to keep astronauts interested in eating.

“Anecdotal evidence indicates that menu fatigue may be less significant when food is cooked fresh on site rather than simply rehydrated,” says the call for volunteers. “With the right ingredient set and some skill and creativity in the kitchen, an almost infinite variety of foods can be produced, providing planetary explorers with a nutritionally balanced diet customized to their evolving needs and likes. Moreover, preparation of food is an important part of every human culture, with psychological value for both the crew and the cook.”

Initially, six volunteers will be selected for a two-week test inside an enclosed environment on Hawaii to simulate a space voyage, where they will eat prepackaged foods and meals they cook themselves, can only receive time-lagged electronic messages to simulate distance from Earth, and will only leave the capsule when wearing a space suit.

Following successful completion of this shakedown cruise-with-cruising, a four-month trial will begin to measure the longer term effects of the two forms of diet. The testers will have their energy use measured, and hopefully the effects of self-prepared meals verses prepackaged can be accurately measured. A chef will help with meal selection, to avoid a Blazing Saddles bean-feast situation.

Those looking to take on the task must have nothing to do next year, be between 21 and 65, possess a degree in engineering, biological or physical sciences, mathematics, or computer science, and be smoke-free for at least the last two years. Household cooking experience and a valid driver’s license is considered desirable.

You have until February 29 to apply. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.