How lessons learned from space exploration could feed the world

Sustainable food systems developed for deep space could help mitigate the food crisis, says Angelo Vermeulen

Space | Comment 1 June 2022

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Simone Rotella

IN 2013, I lived in Hawai’i on the side of the Mauna Loa volcano, locked in a habitat with five other engineers and scientists to act out life on Mars for 120 days. I was crew commander of HI- SEAS I, the first NASA-funded Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission.

Our main scientific work was a food study, investigating whether cooking with shelf-stable ingredients, such as freeze-dried meat and dehydrated vegetables, could combat a phenomenon called menu fatigue – which is a loss of appetite caused by repeated consumption of pre-prepared meals. Ours went down a treat.

The environment of …

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