What is it like to cook on Mars? To find out, six researchers developed recipes in a simulated Martian base on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa for four months, and have finished their experiment, according to Associated Press.
The experiment, conducted by HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation), used a grant from the NASA Human Research Program to research ways to prepare food for long-term space exploration. The six astronaut-like researchers, selected from a pool of 700 applicants, prepared food using dehydrated and nonperishable ingredients in a Mars-simulated environment, meaning that they often experienced “communication latencies and blackouts, in close quarters, under strict water-use rules,” according to HI-SEAS.
Finding creative ways to cook nutritious, astronaut-friendly food is not easy, but the researchers used the resources that they had on the 8,500 foot high Mars-like field. They cooked with lots of Spam, coming up with recipes like spam fried rice, split pea and spam soup, spam musubi, and curried spam fried rice noodles. The crew held their own recipe contest, voting for the favorite dishes they’ve cooked or eaten during the mission.
The team’s findings will likely be revealed at the International Astronautical Congress in Beijing this year. Future space food just may be a whole lot better.