Wednesday, April 09, 2014

First Moon meal was? [Drum roll...] Bacon!

Gizmodo - Bacon Was the First Thing Ever Eaten on the Moon


Setting foot on the moon for the first time was perhaps one of the biggest technological, scientific and political achievements of our age. So what better way to celebrate, after exploring that new lunar landscape, than with bacon?


Image by Orin under Creative Commons license

Popular Science - When Bacon Flew to the Moon; or, #spacebacon


The first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 7, had the least variety in its meals. But bacon was a key food in three out of four breakfasts. The astronauts’ first meal on days 1, 5, and 9 of the flight consisted of peaches, eight bacon squares, cinnamon toasted bread cubes, and breakfast drink. Breakfast on days 4 and 8 were with Canadian Bacon and applesauce, strawberry cereal cubes, cinnamon toasted bread cubes, and more breakfast drink. Only days 3, 7, and 11 were bacon free.

And, it seems, the crew liked the bacon squares. Towards the end of the eleven-day mission, Walt Cunningham commented to Capcom Bill Pogue during breakfast that “Happiness is a package of bacon squares on day 10.” Bacon squares may have been a hit, but on the whole the crew came home feeling like they’d brought too much food that was too sweet.


The bacon squares that were a staple on Apollo missions actually predate the lunar program; they debuted during Gemini mission where they were a breakfast staple. And bacon squares lived on after Apollo. In the 1990s, NASA astronauts also had bacon squares as part of their meal options. A meal plan from 2002, however, had a distinct lack of bacon. Today on the ISS, the closest thing astronauts have is a freeze-dried sausage pattie they rehydrate with hot water.

Sources: NASA; All Apollo mission press kits (Apollos 7-17); All Apollo spacecraft and air-to-ground transcripts (Apollos 7-17). Thanks to William Jeffs for the update on sausage patties in space. And for those interested, here's a list of common foods eaten on Apollo missions.

Bacon, the astronaut approved meal... ummm.... bacon...

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