The Most Popular Food in Space, Ranked

Choose the food you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 27, 2024 06:54
When astronauts venture into space, their meals take on a new level of importance. The food they consume must not only provide the necessary nutrition to sustain them in an environment vastly different from Earth's, but it also serves as one of their few comforts away from home. Determining the most popular food items among these intrepid explorers can offer valuable insights into not only preferences but also the psychological and physiological impacts of space travel on human eating habits. By actively participating in voting on their favorite space foods, individuals have a unique opportunity to influence future menus for missions beyond our atmosphere. This engagement also empowers space agencies and food scientists to iterate on meal plans and improve the overall well-being of astronauts. Such a ranking isn’t merely a list of items; it's a critical tool for enhancing the space travel experience through better culinary options.

What Is the Most Popular Food in Space?

  1. 1


    Preferred over bread for their longer shelf life and lack of crumbs.
    • Introduced: 1980s
  2. 2


    Small treats like M&Ms are enjoyed for a taste of home.
    • Reason: Helps boost morale
  3. 4

    Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

    Supplied on resupply missions for nutritional variety.
    • Storage: Consumed quickly due to short shelf life
  4. 5

    Space Ice Cream

    Freeze-dried ice cream, often cited as typical astronaut food.
    • Misconception: Rarely flown on missions
  5. 6

    Instant Coffee and Tea

    Beverages prepared with hot water available on spacecraft.
    • Adaptation: Served in special containers to prevent spills
  6. 7

    Thermostabilized Russian Borscht

    A traditional Russian soup made available for astronauts.
    • Cultural Exchange: Example of international food aboard the ISS
  7. 8

    Packaged Snacks

    Pre-packaged snacks like nuts, trail mix, and energy bars.
    • Convenience: Easy to eat on the go
  8. 9

    Thermostabilized Entrees

    Heat-treated foods that can be stored at room temperature.
    • Example: Chicken curry
  9. 10

    Rehydratable Foods

    Foods that can be rehydrated with water, such as soups and stews.
    • Key Benefit: Saves weight and space

Missing your favorite food?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular food in space. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or food is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 51 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each food once every 24 hours. The rank of each food is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Food in Space

Rank #1 for the most popular food in space: Tortillas (Source)
Space travel requires careful planning, especially when it comes to food. Astronauts need food that is nutritious, easy to store, and simple to prepare. Food in space must also withstand the conditions of zero gravity.

In the early days of space exploration, food options were limited. Scientists focused on creating food that could fit into small spaces and last a long time. They packaged food in tubes or small containers. This allowed astronauts to eat without worrying about crumbs or spills.

Over time, food technology improved. Scientists began to develop freeze-dried foods. This process removes water from the food, making it lightweight and easy to store. Astronauts just add water to rehydrate the food before eating. This method preserves the taste and nutrients of the food.

Nutrition is a key concern for space missions. Astronauts need a balanced diet to stay healthy. They need proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Scientists design space food to meet these needs. Each meal provides the right amount of nutrients.

Taste is also important. Eating the same food for weeks can become boring. To solve this, scientists create a variety of meals. They include different flavors and textures. This helps astronauts enjoy their meals and maintain their appetite.

Packaging is another challenge. Food must be stored in a way that keeps it fresh. It must also be easy to open and eat in zero gravity. Special packaging prevents food from floating away. It also protects food from radiation and other space hazards.

Food preparation in space is simple. Astronauts use hot water to rehydrate freeze-dried meals. They also have a small oven to heat food. There is no stove or microwave. This limits the types of food they can prepare. However, scientists continue to innovate. They look for new ways to improve space food.

Eating in space is different from eating on Earth. In zero gravity, food and liquids float. Astronauts use special utensils to eat. They must be careful to avoid making a mess. Small crumbs can be dangerous if they get into equipment.

Scientists also study how space affects the human body. They look at how the lack of gravity impacts digestion and nutrient absorption. This research helps improve space food and ensures astronauts stay healthy.

Space agencies work with food companies to develop new products. They test different recipes and packaging. They also consider the preferences of astronauts. This collaboration leads to better food options for space missions.

In recent years, there has been interest in growing food in space. Scientists experiment with growing plants on the International Space Station. This could provide fresh food for long missions. It also helps reduce the need for resupply missions.

Space food has come a long way since the early days of space travel. Advances in technology and nutrition have improved the quality and variety of food available. Astronauts now have access to meals that are both nutritious and enjoyable. This helps them stay healthy and maintain their morale during long missions.

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