Space Food, Macaroni and Cheese, STS-27

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    Space Food, Macaroni and Cheese, STS-27

    White plastic container with dehydrated macaroni and cheese; contents label on front.

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This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

This serving of macaroni and cheese is typical of Shuttle-era menu choices. Astronauts choose their meals several months before flight from a list of hundreds of food items. As there is no onboard refrigerator or freezer, most foods are processed for storage at room temperature. Individual portions are packaged in disposable plastic containers, pop-top cans, or foil pouches, and foods are eaten directly from these containers. Astronauts warm food packages at a galley station and use a hot-cold water dispenser to rehydrate dried foods. Containers for dehydrated food like this have an injection port for adding water to make the food edible. This item was returned from the STS-27 Shuttle mission (Atlantis) in 1988.