Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Lesson 31: Nutrition for Astronauts


Nutrition has played a critical role throughout the history of exploration, and space exploration is no exception. While a one- to two-week flight aboard the Space Shuttle might be analogous to a camping trip, adequate nutrition is absolutely critical when spending several months aboard the International Space Station or several years on a mission to another planet. To ensure adequate nutrition, space-nutrition specialists must know how much of various individual nutrients astronauts need, and these nutrients must be available in the spaceflight food system. To complicate matters, spaceflight nutritional requirements are influenced by many of the physiological changes that occur during spaceflight.
Since 1957, over 3000 successful space launches have occurred. While considering nutritional requirements of astronauts, one has to consider three possibilities-


  • Prolonged weightlessness and its effect on nutritional requirements
  • Increased motion and work in a low friction environment
  • Food needs would be those of moderately active, earth bound man
Last modified: Tuesday, 8 May 2012, 10:58 AM