Food in space has evolved since the early missions. Above all it must provide each astronaut with the necessary daily intake of calories, vitamins and minerals necessary to cope with the special conditions of space. There are also other considerations such as convenience in preparation, ease of storage and microbiological safety. As on Earth, a meal in space is also an opportunity for the crew to sit together and unwind after a hard day's work. The gourmet meals served to ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter and his fellow crew members are not part of the Station's everyday menu, but could be used to celebrate special occasions, such as a completed spacewalk, a birthday or the arrival of a new crew.
Provided by the European Space Agency