This Was The First Meal Ever Eaten On The Moon

When Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin first stepped foot onto the moon in 1969, the monumental occasion opened up a world of opportunities for the future. With that, humankind was intrigued by the mystery around what astronauts ate in space.

According to Business Insider, the first person to enter outer space, and eat there, was Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin. In 1961, his first meal consisted of an unappetizing beef and liver paste out of a tube, finished off with a sweet chocolate sauce. In 1962, John Glenn became the first American to eat in space. His meal? A similar puree of beef and vegetables, and applesauce out of tubes, with xylose sugar tablets to be mixed with water for a drink.

Safe to say, space food was not designed for pleasures of the tongue. After all, the Royal Museums Greenwich does say that astronauts face unique health problems such as a decrease in bone density and muscle mass by up to 20 percent while orbiting in space. Equipping the astronauts with appropriately nutritious foods, therefore, was of greater importance.

So you would think that the first meal eaten on the moon by Armstrong and Aldrin would be similarly unpalatable, with its nutritional value in mind, and likely to be a mushy paste squeezed out of a tube. But it turns out, the first meal ever eaten on the moon featured a popular item that even us common folks can relate to: good ol' bacon (via Popular Science).

Bacon was a longstanding member of the early Apollo missions

According to Popular Science, Armstrong and Aldrin had over 70 foods that they could choose from on Apollo 11. On the menu was Canadian bacon with applesauce as well as regular bacon, albeit in the form of squares instead of crisp strips. The first meal that the astronauts were scheduled to eat on the moon was meal A — a breakfast spread of peaches, sugar cookie cubes, coffee, a pineapple grapefruit drink, and bacon squares.

Humanity's fondness for bacon, it seems, even spread into space. Per the site, bacon squares started featuring on space missions as early as Apollo 7 when three out of four breakfasts on the rotational menu featured bacon. Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham is even reported to have told Capcom Bill Pogue that "Happiness is a package of bacon squares on day 10." Apollo 8 mission member Jim Lovell had the same sentiment about the meat: "Happiness is bacon squares for breakfast," he said.

Although bacon is part of the first meal to ever be eaten on the moon, its popularity massively decreased after Apollo 13. Apollo 15 crew members found the bacon squares to be salty and dry, even contemplating throwing uneaten bacon squares away before bringing them back to earth. Now, Popular Science says, bacon is long gone from space missions and freeze-dried sausage patties are much preferred over the former.