Nasa hiring taste testers

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If you can you stomach four months of experimental Mars-appropriate cooking,  NASA has an experience that seems ready-made for a reality TV show.


NASA wants to figure out how it would feed astronauts a balanced, healthy  diet if they take a three-year trip to the red planet. To help simulate the  creative cooking juices and test out some theories, NASA is asking for  interested cooks to sign up for four-month Mars simulation on a Hawaiian lava  flow.

Participants must don imitation spacesuits, eat what astronauts currently  digest, track and measure their food intake and even try their hand at cooking,  using a limited array of ingredients.

The study, operated in part by Cornell University and the University of  Hawaii, hopes to figure out what foods the faux-astronauts don’t get sick of  (“menu fatigue”), what ingredients lend itself to easy preparation in an  environment that makes cooking “nearly impossible” and what balance NASA should  strike in time (wasted) preparing meals versus time that could be spent  researching while in space.

While one requirement for the assignment (you can apply here by Feb. 29) is a “willingness and ability to eat  a wide range of foods,” would-be participants must also hold a bachelor’s degree  in engineering, biological or physical sciences, mathematics or computer  science, as testing food won’t be the only activity they carry out as they  simulate the living and working conditions on the lava flow base (the closest  thing we have on Earth to Mars).

As study participants compile recipes and cooking tips to improve the food  system for planetary missions, they too can enjoy the beauty of rehydrated  meals.
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