Space Food, Gingerbread, Apollo 17 (White)

These small gingerbread squares were packaged for the Apollo 17 mission of December 1972, but were not consumed and returned to Earth.

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.

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.

NASA transferred this object to the Museum in 1986.