Space Station Comfort Food Draws Worldwide Attention


SPACEHAB, Inc. , a leading provider of commercial space services, reports that its online retail unit, The Space Store(TM) (http://www.thespacestore.com ), and its Johnson Engineering unit have partnered to bring Earthlings the very same foods that crew members are dining on aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The Space Store is now selling a variety of space station foods -- the same dishes created for astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS, including special ``comfort foods'' requested by crew members. Johnson Engineering produces these foods to NASA's specifications for ISS crews, and now for The Space Store. The foods are fully hydrated and ready to eat. Each dish has a five-year shelf life, contains one large serving and is packaged exactly as it is for shipping to the ISS.

At $9.95 apiece, selections include: meatloaf (easy to cut in microgravity), chicken fajitas (no cutting required), beef stew (thick, doesn't float away), chicken noodle soup (eat from the package), minestrone (vegetarian), peach yogurt (great source of calcium), bread pudding (winner in NASA taste tests), and potato soup (hearty). The Expedition 3 crew set to launch August 9 to the ISS will be taking along the chicken noodle soup. The chicken fajitas were a hit with the Expedition 2 crew that will return to Earth later this month. ISS crews use a conduction food warmer to heat their food in space. On Earth, these foods may be warmed in the package in boiling water or out of the package in a microwave oven.

This microgravity menu has garnered global media attention, from BBC Radio and the Financial Times to the Houston Chronicle, Newsweek, and South Africa's SA-FM radio. For space enthusiasts, picky eaters, campers, college students who won't eat healthy on their own, real space food, offered exclusively by The Space Store, may be the answer. Space station foods will be for sale off the shelf as well as on line when The Space Store opens its first retail shop this fall, across the street from Space Center Houston near NASA's Johnson Space Center. For Halloween, space suits sized for children and adults are available now on line and will also be for sale at the new retail site, set to open in early October.

The Space Store is now the largest space-related retail website in the universe, featuring over 500 quality products that ship worldwide. The business began as a hobby in May 1997 for Houston rock and roll disc jockey Dayna Steele Justiz and her NASA research pilot husband Charlie Justiz. The Space Store(TM) was acquired in June 2000 by Space Media, Inc. (SMI), a subsidiary of Houston-based SPACEHAB, Inc.

Founded in 1984, with more than $100 million in annual revenue, SPACEHAB, Inc., is a leading provider of commercial space services. The company develops, owns, and operates habitat and laboratory modules and cargo carriers aboard NASA's Space Shuttles. It also supports astronaut training and configuration management at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and builds space-flight trainers and mockups. SPACEHAB's Astrotech subsidiary provides commercial satellite processing services at facilities in California and Florida. SPACEHAB's newest strategic growth initiative, Space Media, Inc.(TM), brings space into homes and classrooms worldwide with television and Internet broadcasting from the ISS, interactive education programs through STARS Academy (http://www.starsacademy.com ), and space merchandise from The Space Store (http://www.thespacestore.com ).

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.