Before going to work Wednesday morning on the International Space Station, two astronauts on the station — two men selected not only because of their NASA backgrounds, but because of their deeply human and entertaining portrayals of different races — heated up their first space feast by tossing some food up against the walls of the space station’s cooking compartment and hacking away at some black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes on a cutting board.
The famous astronauts shared their experience in real time via their preferred social networks: astronaut Scott Kelly in first, NASA’s Ellen Ochoa, followed by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui. Kelly shared an amazing photo of a green pepper tossed against the wall, then noted that “the flames from it burned, then burst into flames!” and called the experience an “awesome first food encounter in space.”
The first food contact in space was also a first for Kimiya Yui, who was excited about the experience but also said that she felt a bit “selfish” because the peppers she encountered were obviously healthy and “nice,” but also “not like what I wanted to eat.”
But while the two spacemen were exploring the middle class of space, others were doing anything and everything to go to Mars. But to send a crew to the Red Planet, NASA is exploring using the existing Mars lander vehicles as the means to accelerate humans there, to send additional payloads down into the red planet’s atmosphere to, for example, test small rovers or autonomous exploration vehicles in greater space than previously possible.
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