您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科学 >> 正文


更新时间:2019/7/11 16:56:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Apollo in 50 numbers: Food

170: Weight of breakfast steaks eaten by astronauts, in grams


Every Nasa astronaut since Alan Shepard in 1961 has been given a hearty breakfast before blast-off. All the pre-flight Apollo meals were specially prepared for nutrition, calories and – crucially – were what doctors refer to as "low residue". In other words, low-fibre meals that wouldn’t have astronauts needing the toilet too soon after lift-off.

自1961年的谢泼德(Alan Shepard)以后,美国航空航天局每一位宇航员在升空前都会享用一份丰盛的早餐。宇航员执行阿波罗号任务前,所吃的食物是根据营养和热量需求而特别准备的,还有很重要的一点,医生称为“低残渣”,换言之就是低纤维,不会让宇航员在升空后不久就需要去厕所。

Early missions also limited coffee intake before launch, because of its diuretic properties. Shepard’s Mercury flight, for instance, was only 15 minutes so doctors figured that he could avoid urinating until splashdown. Unfortunately, they did not account for countdown delays.


“They put Alan Shepard on top of his rocket without a way to take a leak,” says reporter Jay Barbree, who was commentating on the mission for US TV channel NBC. “After two hours, he starts complaining and desperately asks for permission to wet his suit – finally they gave him permission.” The astronaut is relieved but the medical sensors go crazy.

美国广播公司负责报道飞船发射情况的记者巴布利(Jay Barbree)说:“他们把谢泼德送上了火箭顶端,却没办法让他去厕所。两个小时过后,他开始诉苦并急切地请求允许把航天服弄湿。最后是得到了同意。”宇航员解脱了,但是航天服的医疗传感器却失灵了。

Astronauts flying in the Apollo spacecraft used personal urine collection devices – like condoms – which were connected to a disposal system, which ejected the waste from a port on the side of the spacecraft.


Solid waste involved using plastic bags and most astronauts tried to avoid going to the toilet for as long as possible. The first to crack during Apollo 7 was Walt Cunningham.

而粪便则要用塑料袋包起来,大多数宇航员尽可能地避免上厕所。在执行阿波罗7号任务中,康尼翰(Walt Cunningham)最先受不了了。

“It was hard to get everything working just right,” he tells me. “You can catch everything but after that you had the get some pills loose from inside the bag and you spend your time mixing the pills up with whatever you had there – it was not terribly fun.”


2,800: Daily calories consumption


The first American to eat a meal in space was John Glenn. During his five-hour flight, he tested out a tube – a bit like a toothpaste tube – of apple puree, proving that people could swallow and digest food in weightlessness.

首位在太空进食的宇航员是格伦(John Glenn)。在5个小时的飞行中,他测试了一款管装的苹果泥,管子有点像牙膏,实验证明人可以在失重状态下吞咽以及消化食物。

For the two-man Gemini missions of the mid-1960s, astronauts were allocated 2,500 calories a day and consumed plastic packs of freeze-dried foods produced by the Whirlpool Corporation (the home appliance company). Freeze-drying involved cooking the foods, quickly freezing them and then slowly warming them in a vacuum chamber to remove the ice crystals formed by the freezing process.

20世纪60年代中期,在由两位宇航员执行的双子星任务中,宇航员每天摄入2500卡路里,吃的都是塑料包装的冻干食品,由家用电器制造商惠而浦公司(Whirlpool Corporation)生产。制作冻干食品需要先将食物煮熟,然后快速冷冻,再放到真空中缓慢加热,去除冷冻过程中形成的冰晶。

The astronauts squirted water through a nozzle to rehydrate the foods and kneaded the resulting paste into some sort of gloop. The meals were tastier than the tube food on Mercury, and included such delights as beef and gravy, but the water was cold, which made them often less than appetizing.


During the first Gemini mission – Gemini 3 in 1965 – John Young created a minor scandal and the only blemish on his exemplary astronaut career, by smuggling a corned beef sandwich on board. What started as a joke threatened to cause a serious problem with the spacecraft, with fears that crumbs would interfere with the spacecraft circuitry.

在1965年双子星计划的首次载人任务——双子星3号期间,杨(John Young)制造了一起小丑闻,也是他模范宇航员生涯中的唯一瑕疵,他偷偷带上航天飞机一个咸牛肉三明治。这本是个玩笑,但却可能给航天飞机造成严重问题,食物碎渣会影响电路系统。

During the Apollo missions – when the astronauts could do some limited exercise in the capsule and were exerting themselves on the Moon – Nasa nutritionists upped the calorie intake to 2,800.


Not only were the foods tastier, the water gun – supplied from the spacecraft fuel cells – ran hot as well as cold. And the meals didn’t only have to be sucked through a straw, the astronauts could even eat some of them with a spoon.


6: Packs of pineapple fruit cake


The pantry of the Apollo spacecraft was jammed with snacks. Along with six portions of pineapple fruit cake, there were packs of brownies, chocolate cake and jellied fruit candy. For the savoury palate, there were cheese crackers and BBQ beef bites. Apollo astronauts were even allocated 15 packs of chewing gum, containing four sticks in each.


A typical dinner during Apollo 17 consisted of a main of chicken and rice, followed by butterscotch pudding and ‘Graham Cracker cubes’. They could wash this all down with instant coffee, tea, cocoa or lemonade.


Missions from Apollo 15 onwards also carried less appealing "nutrient defined food sticks". A precursor of today’s nutrition bars, these were positioned within the front of the astronauts’ helmets during their moonwalks alongside a drinking tube. This enabled them to eat and drink – either water or fruit-flavoured beverages – during their extended expeditions on the lunar surface.


Despite the varied diet and increased calories, almost every astronaut lost weight during the missions. Neil Armstrong shed 4kg (8.8lb) during his Apollo 11 flight. During Apollo 13, commander Jim Lovell lost 6kg (13.2lb) – partly because of dehydration due to water rationing.

虽然食物种类有所增加,卡路里的摄入量也提高了,但几乎每个宇航员在执行任务期间体重都会减轻。阿姆斯特朗(Neil Armstrong)在执行阿波罗11号任务中轻了4公斤(8.8磅)。在执行阿波罗13号任务中,指挥官洛弗尔(Jim Lovell)瘦了6公斤(13.2磅),部分原因在于限量供水导致身体脱水。

Since Apollo, food in space has continued to improve. Today’s astronauts eat an almost normal diet although find themselves craving fresh fruit and vegetables – a rare treat available only after supply ships dock.


0: Shots of brandy consumed


Christmas Day 1968, and the crew of Apollo 8 were on their back from the Moon. They had a special surprise ration package to unwrap from the head of the astronaut corps, Deke Slayton. Inside, a full Christmas meal – complete with turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce, and it didn’t even have to be rehydrated.

1968年的圣诞节,执行阿波罗8号任务的宇航员们正在从月球返回的途中,得知宇航员的负责人斯雷顿(Deke Slayton)为他们准备了一份特别的配给包。里面是一顿丰盛的圣诞大餐,包括有火鸡、肉汁和红莓酱,甚至不用加水直接就能吃。

“It was a new type of food packaging that we hadn't experienced before,” says mission commander Frank Borman. “We had our best meal on the flight on Christmas Day – I was really glad to experience turkey, gravy and all the works.”

执行任务的指挥官博尔曼(Frank Borman)说:“这种新式的食物包装我们之前从来没有过,圣诞节那天我们在空中吃到了最棒的一餐,我很高兴能吃到火鸡和肉汁和所有的美食。”

But Slayton had also packed another surprise. “He also smuggled on board for us three shots of brandy,” says Borman. “But we didn't drink that.


“If anything had gone wrong, it would be blamed on the brandy so we brought it home,” he says. “I don't know what happened to mine – probably worth a lot of money now.”


Alcohol has been consumed in space – mostly in small quantities by Russian cosmonauts on their early space stations. It’s banned, however, on the International Space Station. Even a small amount could break the station’s complex water recovery system, which is fed with water from astronaut sweat and urine.


15: Microwaveable ready meals eaten by Apollo 11 crew


In the long list of benefits to mankind from the space programme, ready meals might perhaps be an unlikely contender. But without Apollo, the microwave ovens many of us have in our kitchens or the ready meals millions consume every day, might never have been developed.


That’s right… Apollo contributed to the global obesity epidemic.


When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins returned from the Moon and were winched aboard USS Hornet, they spent their first few days in the Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) to protect the world from any possible Moon bugs. Although the MQF was fitted with comfy chairs, bunks, a toilet and shower, it only had limited room for cooking.

阿姆斯特朗、奥尔德林(Buzz Aldrin)和科林斯(Michael Collins)从月球返回地球后,他们待在被打捞上来的大黄蜂号航空母舰的移动隔离设施中,以免地球受到月球的病毒攻击。虽然移动隔离设施中有舒服的椅子、床铺、卫生间和淋浴,但做饭空间有限。

With no room for a conventional oven or grill – and to minimise the dangers of fire – Nasa looked for an innovative solution.


“This is the original countertop microwave oven, developed for the Apollo programme,” says Bob Fish, a trustee of Hornet, now preserved as a museum in Oakland in California.

大黄蜂号航母现在成了加利福尼亚州奥克兰市的一个博物馆,托管人菲施(Bob Fish)说:“这就是最初能放到台面上的微波炉,是为阿波罗项目发明的。”

“Nasa went to Litton Industries who had developed giant walk-in microwave ovens and asked them to shrink it down so that it could be fit inside a place like this,” says Fish. “So, they shrunk it down, and the first time the guys tried it they put some eggs in there and they hit start – it just exploded the eggs because they hadn't shrunk down the power they only shrunk down the size.”

菲施说:“当时立顿工业公司(Litton Industries)已经发明了大到能装下人的微波炉,美国航空航天局找到立顿工业公司,要求把机器缩小,能放进航母的隔离设施中去。于是立顿工业公司就把微波炉缩小了,第一次实验的时候用鸡蛋,按下开始键后鸡蛋就炸了,他们只缩小了机器的体型没缩小功率。”

After these initial teething difficulties, the microwave proved a big hit allowing the astronauts to reheat three frozen meals a day. These included full cooked breakfasts, ribs of beef and even lobster. Desserts included ice cream, pecan pie and cherry cobbler.


Once the astronauts had been air-lifted to Houston and transferred (still under quarantine) to the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, the food stepped-up a notch again. They ate freshly cooked food at tables covered with crisp white table linen.