Photo courtesy Taste of NaturePerhaps inspired by stories of Martian blueberries, the people at the organic food company Taste of Nature have decided to send their Nova Scotia Blueberry Fields organic snack bars into space.
"Since we had our own Canadian astronaut flying we thought, 'wouldn't it be just great to be able to send him some real Canadian snack," said Canadian Space Agency spokesperson Carol Duval, according to CBC News.
Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who will be taking over command of the International Space Station (ISS) in December, will be bringing along a box of 32 of the snack bars to be rationed over his six-month stay in orbit.
The types of food that go into space has evolved over the years. It started out as tubes of paste, small bite-sized cubes and freeze-dried powders, all of which were fairly unappetizing. The Apollo missions added hot water, allowing the astronauts to rehydrate the freeze-dried food, but this was still wasn't very appealing. Now, astronauts still need to put up with tubes of paste and dried packets of food while on the two-day Soyuz rocket journey to the ISS, but once they arrive there, the menu becomes something a lot more Earth-like.
Astronauts on the ISS enjoy meals such as spaghetti and hamburgers, and astronauts from countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Russia and Sweden have all brought along favourite local dishes, like Kung Pao Chicken, sushi, kimchi, borscht, and reindeer jerky. One thing that Astronaut Mike Foale says that NASA and the FKA — the Russian Federal Space Agency — insist on sending up with them every time is crackers, which cause a fairly serious problem, which is one reason why the Nova Scotia Blueberry Field bars have been approved — the bars do not create crumbs.
"What will happen to the crumbs in space, well they are going to be floating just like the astronauts, and then trying to catch all those crumbs floating everywhere could be a bit difficult, could even be dangerous if you have these crumbs floating into equipment," said Duval.
Chris Hadfield is currently in training for Expedition 34/35, and plans on bringing his guitar with him to the ISS, to pass the time with some music. One of his latest tweets: "Blueberries taste better than Tang."