This an exciting time for people with a passion for space travel and food (and no, being a fan of astronaut ice cream and Tang does not automatically qualify you). NASA is seeking experienced cooks (who also have a degree in engineering, biological or physical sciences, mathematics or computer science) to volunteer for a simulated mission to Mars.
The project, called the Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue & Simulation (HI-SEAS), will require the six chosen participants to live in a specially contstructed base located on a Hawaiian lava flow for four months. The group of researchers leading the project (from the University of Hawaii and Cornell University) discovered that lava flows are the most similar environment to that of Mars that exists on Earth.
The purpose of this research is to figure out how to provide the astronauts with nutritious and healthy meals that they'll be able to cook easily and will also be interesting to their palates during a lengthy journey to Mars.
Interested volunteers can apply here by Feb. 29, and should be prepared to test a wide variety of pre-packaged foods, cook under pressure with a very limited supply of ingredients, and develop recipes for future missions.