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Thanksgiving in Space Looks Absolutely Terrible

Turkey from a bag and freeze-dried mashed potatoes

Astronaut Mike Hopkins of Expedition 38 shows off Thanksgiving food, astronaut-style

This Thanksgiving, be thankful that your feet are planted firmly on the ground, because a holiday feast in space looks pretty awful: Turkey and green beans come out of a sealed foil pouch, there is no pumpkin pie, and the cornbread dressing and mashed potatoes are freeze-dried.

And much like food seems to taste more bland on an airplane, the absence of gravity while in orbit makes it hard for astronauts to taste their meals due to stuffy sinuses. (Hope they brought hot sauce in their space bags.)

Tomorrow while you’re sleeping in and then tucking into a feast, it will be just another workday for the crew of NASA’s Expedition 50, who are in the midst of a four-month mission that began in October —though they will pause to share a Thanksgiving dinner with a group of fellow astronauts from Russia and France. In the video below, Commander Shane Kimbrough shows off the Thanksgiving dishes they’ll dine on while orbiting the earth:

Where the hell is Heston Blumenthal when you need him? The acclaimed British chef and culinary mad scientist recently added “space chef” to his resume, and surely his talents would have been appreciated on this most gustatory of holidays. (Not all is lost, however: Space food has made leaps and bounds in recent years, with caviar and an espresso machine both making their way to the International Space Station.)

And if for some reason you want to an an outerworldly touch to your own Thanksgiving table, here’s that cornbread dressing recipe straight from NASA’s own recipe box. Fortunately, home cooks can skip the freeze-drying step.

Space Station Commander Celebrates Thanksgiving in Orbit [YouTube]
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