On the 20th of July, 1969, Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the moon. And when Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon, it was just a small spark in what would ignite a wildfire in terms of the possibility of life on another planet. And here we are almost 50 years since that glorious moment, and all the technical advances have brought us one full circle to find life on other planets in our Milky Way and galaxies around us.
We have come a long way since that day, and as humans have completed numerous spacewalks over our beautiful home, the Earth, there has been a growing need for methods to sustain life in space. Years from now, if we do find a way to live in space or on another planet, in the embryonic times, one crying need will be that of food in space. Sadly, since we can’t ask a food delivery app to get us our food there we will have to make do with what we have. Imagine craving for Ross Omelet up in space only to get it delivered to you by NASA in the next month, seems like stuff of nightmares.
But as the quest for new viable life is still on the cards, we really need to up the ante and find means to sustain that life up in the huge dark void or any favorable planet that’d be kind enough to let us make it our home. Definitely we’ll need to find ways to make our own food up in space. Like in the movie, The Martian, as Matt Damon came so agonizingly close to making potatoes, I think we could maybe give it a shot. At least try making some nice Chicken Xacuti up in space, that would be something to put in the history books. But one thing that over rules all of the necessities is that of water. Yep, the search continues to find water on possible inhabitable planets like Mars, and success in doing so could be a huge win for all of human kind.
With water, a spaceman, yes I made it up, could grow plants on cultivable soil which would then be used in making food, yay! So, one hurdle of being able to harvest our own produce could be solved with some amount of plant life. I really hope those plants have some edible vegetables at the end of their nodes. Space really needs some really highly qualified botanists. Pretty sure, the sun will do its part with the photosynthesis and along with some added carbon dioxide, voila, we have an entire farm. Okay, I’m just exaggerating, but still, it is a stepping stone.
One thing that is scary is that of fire in space. Since, it is a vacuum, it is impossible to get fire up there due to the non availability of oxygen. And (drum roll), that’s where the plants come in: Instant Oxygen producers. Or we could just stick to the idea of electrical heaters and induction heaters.
Till today, astronauts heat up preserved food and they don’t really have to deal with the idea of cooking food in real time. But in the near future, the preparation of food will be a real need. The absence of gravity means that even the simple job of applying peanut butter and/or jam to a single slice of bread is so frustrating because everything is just floating about, even the spoons. If I was an astronaut, I’d eat the bread first and then, my peanut butter, case closed. Back to our point, if these simple things are so hard to perform imagine the actual process of cooking. It is so hard to fathom making a simple Omelet up in space. You flip it up from your pan and that’s it, it just floats into space. Definitely, not going to try that. But if we can somehow solve this hurdle of the absence of gravity, we could definitely get somewhere.
If we do find life on a planet, one thing that we would have to worry about is the rearing of livestock and farm animals. Life up there could be a moonwalk for us, pun intended, but it may not be viable for the animals. This means that we will not be able to consume animal based foods inevitably implying that our basic and necessary needs for nutrients such as proteins and other carbohydrates will be focused only around plants, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and that really isn’t much of a deal since we have worthy substitutes to provide us with these nutrients. Although, we’d be derived of the joy of eating our favorite Chicken Kebabs and Steaks up in space. Considering we have a shot at life on another planet, that is one sacrifice I can make. Goodbye, Cutlet Pao.
But yeah, having hotels up in space serving up some scrumptious food is really a stuff of dreams. Having our favorite three course meals would surely be heavenly then (pun intended). The entire idea of having hotels there is based on the technical obstacles stated above and how we can overcome them with all our technological advancements.
But if we look beyond the complications and the challenges that the land and the void of the stars has to offer, cooking up in space really is something exciting. I hope I get to eat some nice fish, curry, rice up in space under the stars. That would be something special. I can already imagine having Master Chef Competitions up there with some finger-licking good dishes to soothe the taste buds. I can also imagine various Man vs Food classics with some monstrous burgers being prepared up in the Celestial Kitchen.
All in all, this is a really wacky idea but it definitely is something that I’m looking forward to. But once we do make it, all I’ll say is Bon Appétit.