Sure, it's quibbling to pick on your packed lunch when you are going to be strapped to the world's biggest roman candle and be launched into space. And of course, the astronauts on the Apollo 10 mission back in May of 1969 did no such thing.
We are doing the complaining for them 43 years after the fact, since astronauts don't appear to be the complaining type.
Last week marked the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 10 carrying commander Thomas Stafford, command module John Young and lunar module pilot Gene Cernan on a dry run mission for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.
As part of the anniversary, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum chose an unconventional way to remember the flight — they released a photo of John Young's lunch. That's how we now know that it wasn't much of a picnic up there food wise.
We'll just say it — this stuff looks horrible. Necessary? Sure. Tasty? Maybe not so much.
Obviously there is the photographic evidence; despite capturing the still bright colors that were supposedly cocoa, salmon salad, sugar cookie cubes, and grape punch, the display doesn't look appetizing.
To be fair, maybe the meals the crew actually did eat were a little bit better. This sample we see in the photo was an extra — provided for the guys in case the mission had to extend beyond its scheduled eight days.
Clearly, no one ripped open the spares due to hunger pangs.
Let's spare a moment to honor all those space pioneers that had to deal with the vacuum packed mystery meals. These were the days where NASA was still experimenting with just exactly how you ate in space along with the menu.
Granted, these astronauts had a lot of other important things to worry about, but we think putting up with space food deserves a pat on the back.
Today's astronauts benefit from every mission that went before them. Now they are drinking from gravity controlling coffee mugs, chasing M&Ms around the modules (in controlled conditions of course!) and eating everything from sushi, Christmas cookies, and Thanksgiving Dinner.
And, thanks to this Astronaut/budding chef — Sandra Magnus who was a flight engineer on Expedition 18 to the International Space Station — they even have tacos:
Sadly, there is no detail on how she got the filling to stay put but then again, she is an actual rocket scientist so it likely wasn't that complicated for her.
Photo Credit: Astronaut Sandra Magnus with taco via NASA