Big News From NASA's Kitchens
By Jill Harness
Big news from NASA—2011/12 was a record-breaking year when it came to astronaut applications. In fact:
According to NASA, the agency received 6,300 applications for this cycle of astronaut hunting. This is nearly double the 2,500 – 3,500 applications NASA normally receives, and second only to 1978 with a record 8,000 applications.
With all these new applicants, it should hardly be surprising that the organization now needs tons more chefs to prepare good food for those selected for a simulated mission to Mars. Since a real mission to Mars would last three years, that means lots of variety in the traveler's diet. To prepare proper cuisine, volunteer chefs will be sent to a remote area of Hawaii, eating space cuisine and cooking with space-friendly ingredients in order to determine which foods will work best for the lengthy trip, including items already prepared and food the astronauts will cook themselves.
Of course, other volunteers will need to be brought out to Hawaii to test the cuisine as well. Participants are required to have a bachelors in science, have professional experience in a science-related field, be in good health with a good sense of smell and taste, and have a history of conducting field research. If you're interested in participating, you could earn up to $5,000 in stipends for volunteering for four months.