Updated April 1st, 2021 at 17:42 IST

Who did NASA reach out to improve menu for the ISS? NASA's Deep Space Food Challenge

Who did NASA reach out to improve menu on the International Space Station? NASA contacted celebrity chef Emeril Legasse to design a space menu.

Sakshat Kolhatkar
who did nasa reach out to improve menu
Image Source: NASA Official Website | Image:self

NASA has recently launched a new research program called the 'Deep Space Food Challenge' and it's open for everyone to participate. The program has been launched in order to explore and invent a new variety of dishes that can be sent to astronauts who are in space on the Internation Space Station (ISS), and future missions to Mars and the Moon. This new challenge has led people to ask who did NASA reach out to improve the menu for the ISS. 

Who did NASA reach out to improve menu for the ISS? 

Back in 2005, Emeril Legasse was contacted by NASA to make some recipes that astronauts could make on the Space Station. 
Lagasse sent NASA some of his special recipes for potential use in space. After the required testing and processing, five different recipes were selected. Emeril's Mardi Gras jambalaya, mashed potatoes with bacon, green beans with garlic, rice pudding and mixed fruit were delivered to the station in July. 

Space Station Menu 

According to a report by, the Space Station has a large variety in its menu. However, the food has to stick to certain standards and safety measures before it can be sent to the ISS. Here are the eight different kinds of food the astronauts can eat on the Space Station: thermostabilized food, rehydratable food, intermediate moisture food, natural form food, irradiated food, frozen food, fresh food, refrigerated food. As mentioned in the report, some of the dishes astronauts consume on the ISS include eggs, bacon, toast and coffee, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn, peaches and almonds, turkey, mashed sweet potato, asparagus and pumpkin.

The Deep Space Food Challenge 

When astronauts go into space, it is imperative that they have access to durable and nutritious food, in order to stay healthy and be capable of performing their missions without any health issues. As per NASA's official blog, NASA food scientists and nutritional biochemists have outlined the key requirements and challenges of creating a food system that can support human exploration missions anywhere between low-Earth orbit and the Red Planet.

The Nutrition paper, authored by NASA scientists Grace Douglas, Sara Zwart, and Scott Smith, highlights the main criteria for creating a food menu for future space missions. NASA has made the Deep Space Food Challenge open to everyone. Promising participants may even get up to half a million in funding from NASA to create the best space menu. You can check out more details on the office Deep Space Food Challenge website. Here are the criteria for developing space food, as per NASA. 

  • Safety 
  • Stability 
  • Palatability 
  • Nutrition 
  • Resource Minimisation
  • Variety 
  • Reliability 
  • Usability
  • Space Ready Appliances 


Image Source: NASA Official Website


Published April 1st, 2021 at 17:42 IST

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