NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin Describes What It’s Like to Eat in Space

If you thought eating in space was cooler than it is on Earth, you were right

In 2015, astronauts on the International Space Station harvested the first vegetables ever grown in space. 

In an interview with Great Big Story, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin confirms that yes, astronauts do indeed play with their food. For example, “we would just open up a bag of Raisenets and let them float in front of our faces.”

M&M’s too, become far more interesting than they are on Earth because they can be contained inside a water bubble that can be swallowed whole. The freeze-dried ice cream you often see in museum gift shops as “astronaut ice cream,” however, doesn’t actually make it to space —nowadays, International Space Station astronauts get regular ice cream like the rest of us.

As for his favorite space foods — which are thermally stabilized and irradiated for a long, long shelf life — Melvin was fan of the beef brisket and macaroni and cheese. As you can imagine, astronauts are always looking for a way to upgrade the grub in space, and in 2015, successfully grew their own lettuce on the ISS — the first food ever to be grown and harvested in space.

Last year, the International Space Station also got its own espresso machine — the ISSPResso — and one American astronaut paid homage to his country with this otherworldly approximation of a cheeseburger.