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Pesadilla en la cocina espacial: 50 años de comida envasada de la NASA

25 enero 2013 - 14:41 - Autor:

El objetivo de la alimentación espacial es ofrecer alimentos a los astronautas que cubran sus necesidades de energía mientras resultan tan sabrosos como pudieran serlo en la Tierra. Sin embargo, esta última máxima es muy difícil de lograr pues, a los pocos días de una misión, los astronautas pierden el sentido del olfato y la comida en general sabe bastante a nada.

Esto ocurre porque, al flotar en gravedad cero, los fluidos del cuerpo acaban por reunirse en la cabeza, produciendo en este caso síntomas de congestión nasal. De hecho los astronautas se pirran por el picante en el espacio y nunca falta para aderezar sus menús. Y es que al estar bloqueado el sentido del olfato, el sentido del gusto se distorsiona; así que el picante lo que hace es realzar y potenciar el sabor de los alimentos deshidratados que consumen a bordo, para que por lo menos sepan a algo.

La responsabilidad de diseñar la comida de los astronautas estadounidenses recae sobre el Space Food Systems Laboratory de la NASA y su misión es la de proporcionar un sistema de alimentos que sean de alta calidad y compatibles con las necesidades fisiológicas y psicológicas de cada miembro de la tripulación. Y que sean fáciles de preparar y comer en la ingravidez del espacio, desde luego.

Esa pesadilla de la cocina terráquea se encuentra en el Edificio 17 del Centro Espacial Johnson, en Houston (Texas); y está compuesta por cuatro laboratorios: una de cocina de prueba, totalmente equipada con capacidad para realizar pruebas sensoriales, el Laboratorio de Procesamiento de Alimentos, el Laboratorio de Envasado de Alimentos, y un laboratorio de análisis.

Y de allí han salido, durante cinco décadas y entre plásticos, las viandas de los hombres que alimentaron el sueño humano de la conquista del espacio.

Alimentos naturales y condimentos

Carnes secas y alimentos congelados

Zumos y bebidas

Alimentos termo-estabilizados

Compartimiento de almacenaje

El gran atracón final. Con picante, por favor.


Vía: The Fox is Black; Fotos: Space Food Systems Laboratory




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