Here's What NASA Astronaut Christina Koch Likes To Eat In Space

Of the more fascinating diets out there are those of astronauts. Living in a spaceship for months on end doesn't quite bring the same comforts of home with it. You might be familiar with the vacuum sealed packs sold at science museums or even the dehydrated foods purchased for backpacking trips or military bases and assume this is the only thing astronauts subsist on when they're exploring the universe. While this is partly true — Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are definitely standard — they aren't the only foods they munch on while up in space.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch spent the best part of 2019 floating around the planet and she recently dished to Women's Health about everything she and her team ate while living in their galactic home away from home. You'll see that for every mushy packet of pasta there is an equally fun counterpart (outer space cookie decorating party anyone?).

Astronauts have a decent selection of snacks and meals to choose from

Like most earthlings, astronauts typically eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. To start their day, Koch says that a protein bar (CLIF, Luna bar, Larabar, you name it) is pretty standard. For bigger meals like lunch and dinner, the crew often relies on the MREs. But these aren't the bland piles of sludge they're often characterized to be. "For main dishes, believe it or not, you can dehydrate everything from shrimp to chicken to ground beef and pasta, so we had all kinds of different meals," Koch said to Women's Health.

As for snacks and dessert? While it may not be ice cream sundaes, chips, or cake, Koch personally liked nibbling on macadamia nuts and organic chocolate bars while she was on the job, and spilled that she always looked forward to hot chocolate after an exhausting space walk. All delicious and space-friendly!

Some foods are completely barred from going to space altogether

Meals in space are planned out well in advance, because, as you'd assume, quite a lot changes once you leave Earth behind. Because gravity loosens its grip, certain foods are major no-gos when it comes to space travel. Koch explained to Women's Health that anything with crumbs or a fine consistency doesn't really make the cut since it'll get everywhere once it's opened. Liquids are also a tricky substance to deal with, and any time astronauts need a drink it must be done through a straw popped into a bag or carton.

Aside from textures and consistencies, some types of food are banned altogether for a variety of reasons. According to The Franklin Institute's blog The Current astronauts are prevented from having foods like bread, because of its short-lived shelf life, and beverages such as soda (because of the weird effects of carbonation) and alcohol, since a even a little tipple doesn't mix well up in space.