Friday, December 18, 2009

NASA Astronaut, Food Scientist Available for Interviews about Holiday Feasts in Space

Irradiated smoked turkey, thermostabilized yams and NASA's own special stuffing recipe can mean only one thing -- holiday season aboard the International Space Station.

NASA food scientist Vickie Kloeris and astronaut Sandy Magnus, who was aboard the orbiting laboratory during the 2008 holiday season, are available the week of Dec. 14-18 to discuss how the traditional holiday feast can be observed in space. To arrange an interview, media representatives should contact the newsroom at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston at 281-483-5111.

Station Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev are currently the sole residents aboard the complex. They will spend the holidays with three new crew members. NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi are set to arrive on the station Dec. 22 after launching on a Soyuz spacecraft on Dec. 20 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Although they may not get the home cooking people on Earth enjoy this season, the station crew can celebrate with a well-stocked, and by all accounts tasty, pantry. The view from their table, speeding 220 miles above Earth at five miles per second, cannot be beat.

Space food has come a long way from the early days of "tubes and cubes." The current station's menu includes more than 250 different food and beverage items provided by the U.S. and Russia. Foods from other partner nations also are available on the station's menu.

Kloeris is the manager of the International Space Station Food System. Magnus served as a flight engineer for the 18th station crew. During the three months she spent in orbit, Magnus kept a journal about her experiences of cooking in space. Her efforts to spice up food aboard the station are detailed at:
For more information about space food, visit:
For the latest information about the space station, visit:

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