Most ‘perfect space flight meal’ for Mars colonists revealed and it’s bad news if you’re obsessed with meat


THE perfect meal for a long spaceflight has been revealed – and it’s not great if you’re a meat obsessive.

Scientists have cooked up the space-faring dish and say it has all the necessary ingredients for a multi-year off-Earth trip.


The dish was designed to be easy to produce and very nutritious – as well as tastyCredit: ACS Food Science & Technology

It’s the sort of food that could be served up to the first Mars colonists, who may spend years travelling to the red planet.

The totally vegetarian meal was concocted so that each ingredient could be grown in space.

And it’s got sufficient micronutrients like calcium to keep astronauts healthy during long space missions.

They users computers to test dozens of fresh ingredients in various combinations.

The aim was to find out how different meal options could meet the nutritional needs of an astruonaut.

Alongside that, the computer would calculate how to best minimize the amount of water needed to grow the ingredients.

Other factors that affected the decision where the amount of fertilizer, time to grow, space needed, and whether any inedible parts of the meal could be recycled.

Out of this world?

Ultimately, they settled on the following ingredients for the meal: soybeans, poppy seeds, barley, kale, peanuts, sweet potato, and sunflower seeds.

Scientists say this meal wouldn’t provide every single nutrient, but that it would do most of the work – with supplements making up the difference.

The researchers who published their meal in the ACS Food Science & Technology actually cooked up the dish to try it out.

One of the testers said they “wouldn’t mind eating this all week” if they were an astronaut.

Others were reported to have gone back for second helpings.

A major caveat of the study is that it was specifically created for the needs of a male astronaut.

Scientists now hope to run a similar model to work out the best meal for female astronauts to eat – as well as adding more crops to the database.

“Future long-term human exploration of space will need a supply of resources for astronauts, including fresh food from space farms,” said lead author Shu Liang, of the University of Adelaide’s School of Chemical Engineering.

“This means it is necessary to identify combinations of crops that can be successfully grown together and which provide a balanced and palatable diet for astronauts.

“These assessments are essential steps toward feasibility in long-term human space missions, for example, to Mars.”