Food for spaceflight must be nutritious, lightweight and have the ability to be compressed when possible. For the early missions, it also had to be stored without refrigeration and have the ability to be eaten under weightless conditions.
Each Apollo crew member was provided with three meals per day which provided approximately 2,800 calories per day. The food was freeze-dried and was easily reconstituted by the astronaut with a water probe which dispensed one half ounce of hot or cold water as required, each time the trigger button was pressed.
The food was protected with a 4-ply, laminated film coating. This protected the food from loss of flavor, moisture and oxygen invasion, spoiling and excess crumbling, and was used on both the rehydratable and the bite-sized foods. The rehydratable foods also had an 8-quinolinol sulfate tablet attached to reduce spoilage in the used food wraps.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Manufacturer: Whirlpool Corporation
Country of Origin: United States of America
3-D Test: 10.2 x 10.2 x 10.2cm (4 x 4 x 4 in.)
Exterior: 4-ply laminate film, aluminized Mylar, velcro
Interior: Compressed meal of entree, vegetables and dessert
Inventory number: A19860446000
This artifact is on display in the gallery of the National Mall building.