There seems to be uncertainty on Mission to Mars food preparations, as scientists are still facing difficulties in choosing the best products for the astronauts. The menu is primordial for the success of the trip planned by NASA.
The experts from NASA have released more details on the diets of cosmonauts and the resistance of food for the many days of travelling through space. Johnson Space Center from NASA food researcher Grace Douglas has made a reference to the early brave voyages of the Age of Sail that lasted from the 16th until the 19th century. During those times, sailors could not transport with them fast decaying fruits. As a result, many died from scurvy, which basically means the lack of the C vitamin.
However, the trip to Mars will be much longer than the ones made by sailors hundreds of years ago. The distance to the red planet is 140 million miles. This roughly means circling Earth 5,625 times. The astronauts are also planning to stay for twenty days on Mars, which adds up to the duration of the voyage to three years.
Food expert Zara Swart has stated that they hope to optimize nutrition in order to reduce the negative effects that occur to people when they are in space. Those include loss of muscle and bone and psychological and immune function changes.
In this endeavor of finding the perfect diet, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine analyzed the information on health risks released by NASA. Unfortunately, they have yet to reach a clear conclusion. However, the scientists did discover that the space agency has previously exaggerated both the risks of nutrient insufficiency and the advantages of nutrients.
According to Zwart, while nutritional additives can help cosmonauts prevent deficiencies, they do deteriorate rapidly in supplements. Therefore, these nutrients do not have the same value as the ones found in normal food.
At the moment, researchers are attempting to add nutrients to other types of food rather than supplements. It appears that the only additive that astronauts receive constantly is Vitamin D, which is given to them because they are not exposed to natural light.
As we have seen in The Martian movie, both storytellers and scientists have been thinking for quite some time about agriculture in space. Even though they are faced with uncertainty on Mission to Mars food preparations, experts believe that growing food in space is a viable idea.
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