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Did you know that bacon was the first food consumed on moon?

In the overall analysis, as long as bacon was on board, Houston was less likely to get a call about a problem.

, ET Bureau|
Jun 11, 2019, 09.54 AM IST
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According to science writer Amy Shira Tietel, bacon was a constant on various space missions, though that is no longer the case
A copy of the official Nasa press kit for the Apollo 11 mission, printed on a kind of fancy paper only a woman could choose, was my wife’s original gift to me recently. It is 50 years since humans first went to the moon (along with some pig, cow and chicken. We’ll come to that soon).

The press kit makes nostalgic reading. It is like a comic, more than 200 pages long and with school textbook like diagrams. The cover, in fact, is similar to the Tintin adventure Explorers on the Moon. At the beginning, we have the easy science and engineering parts. What’s not to understand about the Lunar Orbit Insertion’s (LOI) nominal retrograde velocity? Or a three-phase powered descent beginning at pericynthion? For qualified folk like Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani, how the spacecraft navigated around the Van Allen Belts would be kindergarten stuff. You can imagine a headbanging Gandhi saying, “Dude, I love Eddie.”

It is the food part of the press kit that is tough, as the Instagram generation will agree. Weighing food choices and then deciding the menu for a trip is not a frivolous matter and requires high intelligence. Ask any traditional Indian business family travelling to Europe. The Horizon 55 LV luggage designed by Mark Newson will be scientifically packed with quinoa farsan and organic theplas.

NASA Bids Farewell To 'Opportunity': A Peek Into The Robot's 14-Year-Long Journey On Mars

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Adieu, Opportunity

22 Feb, 2019
NASA recently said goodbye to robot geologist Opportunity after a Marswide dust storm put an end to its successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration. Check out a few glimpses of its extraterrestrial travel that’s more than the distance of a marathon on the Red Planet.

More than 70 food items travelled on board Apollo 11 to nourish Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the three astronauts, for a period of about a week. They included spaghetti, salads, meats, peaches, puddings, brownies and coffee. The courses were designed to be balanced, and provide 2,500-3,000 calories to each man. Space travel requires extra energy.

As per the press kit, the menu for the first meal after the ‘Eagle’ landed on the lunar surface was bacon squares, peaches, strawberry cubes, grape drink and orange drink. As Aldrin and Armstrong drew strength from the foods, they were surrounded by little else than the spacecraft and the “magnificent desolation” of the moon, to use Buzz Aldrin’s poignant expression. (Collins did not land on the moon.)

Bacon, specifically, is accepted as the first food consumed on the moon. According to science writer Amy Shira Tietel, the meat was a constant on various space missions, though that is no longer the case. She wrote on a science portal that on the first ever manned Apollo mission, Apollo 7, Walt Cunningham commented to capsule communicator Bill Pogue during breakfast that “Happiness is a package of bacon squares on day 10.”

Jim Lovell, the astronaut portrayed by Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, said something to the same effect during another operation. “Happiness is bacon squares for breakfast,” he said to mission control. In the overall analysis of space exploration, as long as bacon was on board, Houston was less likely to get a call about a problem.
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