Extras / In April, a crew of six will fly over to the Big Island for a mock Martian mission near Mauna Loa for four months. “There are parts of the Big Island that are very Mars- and moon-like, in their physical nature,” says Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) researcher Kim Binstead. “There is chemical data in the soil that is the most Mars-like soil on earth.”
Since an actual round trip to Mars takes about three years, the astronauts are gonna need to eat. The HI-SEAS Recipe Contest 2013 needs you. The mission for HI-SEAS this year, conducted by researchers from Cornell University and the University of Hawaii, is to test food preparations for long-term space explorations.
“In microgravity, ingredients would just float out of the bowl, and also loose crumbs and droplets can be very dangerous if they float into the equipment,” says Binstead. So think freeze-dried foods for the spaceship, but as for Mars dinners, you can get more creative. Shelf-stable ingredients ranging from couscous to even Nutella are possible. Mmm, Nutella balls.
Send in your best breakfast, entrée, side dish, dessert or snack recipe, with a recording of you making it, by March 8. Finalists are picked through public voting and then prepared and tested by the crew.