Astronaut Chris Hadfield Will Have A Taste Of Home During ISS Stay
A year ago, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) invited Canadians to suggest their favorite regional foods as part of the "Canadian Snacks for Space" contest. Wednesday, CSA announced the Canadian foods and names of the winners who will have their treats flown to the International Space Station (ISS) to be included on Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's menu.
150 entries were received from participants across our nation, including Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Of these entries, 39 Canadians suggested the same 12 Canadian foods that were selected. A draw was done to pick one name for each food item. The 12 winners will receive Expedition 34/35 memorabilia and a signed photograph of astronaut Hadfield. "On an in-orbit mission, snacks can be a great morale booster," said Hadfield. "Sharing this food will not only lift our spirits, but it will also give me the chance to tell the crew a little bit about the diversity and richness of the natural and cultural landscapes of Canada."
Approximately one year before launch, Hadfield met with NASA and CSA nutrition experts to determine his space menu. Together they reviewed personal preferences and nutritional value requirements for a hard day's work in orbit. Just like on Earth, astronauts eat three times a day and have one or two snacks daily. During Expedition 34/35, Hadfield's Canadian snacks will include candied wild smoked salmon, smoked salmon pate, cranberry buffalo stix, cereal, dried apple chunks, fruit bars, green tea cookies with orange zest, maple syrup cookies, organic chocolate, honey drops, chocolate bars and maple syrup.
The Canadian treats will be delivered to the Space Station in multiple shipments. The first shipment will be aboard the SpaceX-1 scheduled to launch in the fall of 2012 before Hadfield arrives to the ISS. The second shipment should be sent on an automated resupply spacecraft in December 2012. Hadfield will be part of the crew to operate Canadarm2 to capture this vehicle thus retrieving his own Canadian snacks.
The contest ran from April 19 to August 31, 2011. CSA's Operational Space Medicine group did a preliminary evaluation of all entries to ensure eligibility based on contest rules (i.e. no alcoholic content, no glass containers, no liquids, a product of Canada, proper nutritional value, no carbonated items, long-duration storage capacity). A panel of CSA judges then appraised the entries using an evaluation grid. Color, taste, smell, packaging and ease of consumption in orbit were evaluated. A short list of snacks was then proposed to Hadfield and his astronaut crewmates. The Operational Space Medicine group did one last review of the items to confirm the final list.
On December 5, 2012, Chris Hadfield will launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to reach the International Space Station, where he will live and work for six months as part of the crew of Expedition 34/35. During the second half of his mission, Hadfield will become the first Canadian Commander of the ISS-a milestone for Canadian space exploration. In addition to overseeing operations as Commander, he will carry out scientific experiments, operate Canadarm2 and perform various robotics tasks.