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Space Team Online QuestChat

Date: May 20, 1998

Featuring: Janis Davis-Street
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX


[ Mr.Hale/RanchoAviation - 2 - 08:58:10 ]
Hi Janis, Rancho Aviation Magnet signing on. Good morning.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 3 - 08:58:26 ]
Welcome to today's Space Team Online chat with Janis Davis Street from NASA Johnson Space Center! Janis is a nutritionist and works in the life sciences. She is part of a team whose job is determining the nutritional requirements for space flight, that is, finding out what foods and nutrients are important for the astronauts as they venture into space.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 4 - 08:58:51 ]
And now, here is Janis Davis-Street to answer your questions.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 7 - 09:02:49 ]
RE: [Ben/DracutHighSchool] hey Janis i was wondering what would happen if the ice that was found on the moon was actually usable for a colony on the moon
That's an interesting thought. I'm not very knowledgeable on the geology side of things. But from a nutritional standpoint a usable source of water would be a bonus.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 10 - 09:03:53 ]
RE: [Dot-Dot/Montowese] What do you eat for breakfast?
Typically - I grab a bowl of cereal when I can. The astronauts have several breakfast choices - eggs, cereal etc.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 11 - 09:04:05 ]
RE: [Susan-Susan/silveroakelementary] This second grade class in San Jose Ca would like to know how they eat on the space station.
Susan, I'm glad to see a school online from my hometown!

[ JanisJSCNASA - 12 - 09:05:11 ]
RE: [Bob-Mr.Hale/RanchoAviation] What are the major considerations when planning meals for space?
Major issues are: getting enough calories, providing a well-balanced diet, and food that is both palatable (tastes good) and nutritious

[ JanisJSCNASA - 14 - 09:08:14 ]
RE: [Susan-Susan/silveroakelementary] This second grade class in San Jose Ca would like to know how they eat on the space station.
The foods on the Mir space station is 50% Russian and 50% American. Many of the American foods are dehydrated (that is water must be added to them before they can eat); some others are just like they are on earth - with some special packaging. These foods can be warmed up in a special oven. The astronauts use knives, forks and spoons just like on Earth. They also need to have a pair of scissors to open the food packages.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 15 - 09:09:57 ]
RE: [Dot-Dot/Montowese] Brendan would like to know if you drink soda in space?
I've never been in space, but I think one of the colas was flown (I'm not sure what the results were)

[ JanisJSCNASA - 18 - 09:10:53 ]
RE: [Rachael/Home-rachael] Hello
Hi Rachel

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 20 - 09:12:55 ]
RE: [Rachael/Home-rachael] Does anyone know Linda Or Marc?
Rachael, I assume you are referring to Linda Conrad and Marc Siegel of NASA Ames Research Center. I work with them here at NASA Ames Research Center.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 28 - 09:18:44 ]
RE: [Susan-Susan/silveroakelementary] Is desert served on the space flights and do the astronauts get to pick their favorites?
Yes - they are some puddings, fruit cocktails to choose from. The atronauts do get to pick their menu but of course there are not as many choices as going to the grocery.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 29 - 09:20:19 ]
RE: [Kathy/NASASpacelink-Kathy/NASASpacelink] Janis, What should a nutrionist who recently graduated from college specialize in to work for NASA as you do?
There are 2 routes - one can study dietetics or do like I did, which is to do a Masters degree in Nutrition and get some laboratory experience in basic biochemical methods.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 31 - 09:22:08 ]
RE: [Dot-Dot/Montowese] Laura, Brendan and Mike would like to know how they keep a scoop of ice cream on the cone in outer space?
Probably - with great difficulty. I would guess that any type of ice cream would not be frozen (there are no freezers for food on the shuttle) and have to be carefully processed and packaged.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 34 - 09:23:20 ]
RE: [ Rachael/Home-rachael] Do you sleep At NASA?
No - I usually work regular hours. When we have an experiment on the shuttle, we work through the night in shifts.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 38 - 09:25:43 ]
RE: [Susan/silveroakelementary] What is an example of the daily foods served for american and russian diets?
Some American foods- barbecue beef, shrimp cocktail, tortillas Some Russian food - gruel, and a variety of russian vegetable and stew dishes, Russian breads

[ JanisJSCNASA - 39 - 09:27:19 ]
RE: [Ben/DracutHighSchool] hey i was womdering what would happen if you didnt eat the proper food for a day because the food was damamged
I don't think we've ever had this happen. The foods are carefully packaged with appropriate shelf-lifes.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 40 - 09:28:53 ]
RE: [Derek/DracutHighSchool] is there any way to grow plants om the moon?
There is a plan to have modules with hydroponics. The plants grown will produce use the carbon dioxide produced by the crew. For more information NASA has a web site for the lunar mars life support test project. I will try to get the address and post it later.

[ Angela/Dracuthigh - 42 - 09:29:58 ]
Derek you can grow plants on the moon.The way is hydroponic vegtables. This means you can grow food without soil or dirt. You grow them in a solution that is rich in vitamens for the plants.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 41 - 09:29:57 ]
RE: [Susan/silveroakelementary] What is the most commonly served food at the space station?
It's hard to say. Each astronaut and cosmonauts probably has his/her favorite just like on earth. I've heard that lots of our astronauts like the shrimp cocktail

[ JanisJSCNASA - 43 - 09:31:09 ]
RE: [Natalie/DracutHighSchool] I was woundering if it is possible for plants to grow on Mars?
Like the moon, we are hoping to have modules where plants will be grown. There will probably be lots of vegetarian dishes - like soy.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 47 - 09:34:21 ]
RE: [Dot/Montowese] How many pounds of food do astronauts each each day?
I'm not sure how many actual ponds there are. The dietitians plan for 3000 kcal a day per crewmember

[ JanisJSCNASA - 48 - 09:35:44 ]
RE: [Angela/Dracuthigh] Is terriforming Mars really posable without forming CO2 clouds that will block the sun's rays from reaching Mars's surface and leading to the destruction of crops?
I'm not sure about the answer to that. I will check with some of the people working on that oroject to find out. That's an interesting question though.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 52 - 09:37:34 ]
RE: [Derek/DracutHighSchool] is there a way that crops can be produced in a biodome?
I'm not quite sure what you mean by a biodome. NASA has a few chambers where plants have been grown and harvested. We've also done several tests of up to 90 days were people used recycled air and water.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 53 - 09:38:43 ]
RE: [Nick/DracutHighSchool] How much water is needed in one day to survive?
We recommend that the astronauts drink 2000 ml a day to stay well hydrated.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 57 - 09:40:32 ]
RE: [Evan/DracutHighSchool] how can you change CO2 to O2 in a microgravity enviroment
The plan is to use plants to recycle the air on a lunar or mars station.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 58 - 09:40:54 ]
RE: [Susan/silveroakelementary] We know indian food is one of your favorites, what is your favorite dish?
I love tandoori chicken and raita

[ JanisJSCNASA - 62 - 09:43:10 ]
RE: [Derek/DracutHighSchool] How would you purify water on the moon?
Right now NASA is design water recyling systems which convert wastewater into drinking water. The Russians also recyle their water on the Mir space station. On the ground we have had crew s drink recyled water for 60 and 90 days. Water on shuttle is produced as a by-product of the hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 64 - 09:44:03 ]
RE: [Patti/RiverRidgeElementary] How do you deal with astronauts that are allergic to certain kinds of food?
There is a wide eough variety so that there are several food choices possible. The astronauts also get to do taste-tests before flying.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 66 - 09:47:02 ]
RE: [Cassie/DracutHighSchool] how does microgravity effectthe immune system and the endocryne system and digestion balance
That's a hard one to answer quickly. Folks here are studying the immune response to long term space flight. In terms of digestive system changes - gut motility is decreased. The endocrine system is affected on several levels. Hormones related to fluid balance and bone metabolism are amongst those thta have been studied.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 70 - 09:48:04 ]
RE: [Susan/silveroakelementary] What is gruel? Have your kids ever been on the space ship and do they want to be astronauts?
I think it's a kind of porridge or thin soup. No my kids have never been on a space ship, although I'm sure they would love to do that someday.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 71 - 09:49:45 ]
RE: [Evan/DracutHighSchool] But in a microgravity enviroment the water cannot reach the roots is their a way to get water to the roots
I can check on that one for you - I'm not sure on the eaxt mechanism.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 72 - 09:50:10 ]
RE: [Angela/Dracuthigh] Would it be possible to live off a CELSS life support system on the planet Mars?
We hope so

[ JanisJSCNASA - 75 - 09:51:22 ]
RE: [Cassie/DracutHighSchool] do medicine react differently ? and do you need different size dose for normalmedicine
There are probably differences in way medicines would work - especially because of the changes in gut motility. (That's a great question)

[ Susan/silveroakelementary - 76 - 09:51:49 ]
Thank you for answering our quetions. Our e-mail address is mailto:sdeprima@mail.silveroak.esd.k12.ca.us

[ JanisJSCNASA - 77 - 09:51:49 ]
RE: [Patti/RiverRidgeElementary] Where is the food stored on a shuttle?
They are packed in food lockers.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 78 - 09:53:15 ]
RE: [Patti/RiverRidgeElementary] Amanda Comer wants to know if the astronaunts get to eat junk food for snacks?
Some of the snacks include nuts and cookies. Sometimes the astronauts take their favorite snacks.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 79 - 09:53:36 ]
RE: [Patti/RiverRidgeElementary] Amanda Comer wants to know if the astronaunts get to eat junk food for snacks?
And M&M's

[ JanisJSCNASA - 83 - 09:55:02 ]
RE: [Anna/DracutHighSchool] What kind of nutrients are need to keep your strength in space?
The same kinds as on earth - protein, calories, vitamins and minerals. We are working on understanding some of the mechanisms of muscle and bone loss. Exercise is also a very important component as is food.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 84 - 09:56:35 ]
RE: [Nick/DracutHighSchool] What is the rda for astronauts in space.
Many of the reommendations depend on the nutrient. The WHO recommendation is used for calories (which is based on body weight). Several of the minerals use the RDA.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 85 - 09:57:18 ]
RE: [Patti/RiverRidgeElementary] Deavon wants to know what a typical breakfast would consist of?
Choices include eggs dishes and cerals, there are several breads flown.

[ JanisJSCNASA - 86 - 09:58:17 ]
RE: [Patti/RiverRidgeElementary] Erica wants to know what you work schedule is like?
Typically 40-45 hours a week. I do lots of biochemical analyses, some statistics, write scientific papers - it varies form daya to day.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 87 - 09:59:06 ]
Thank you to everyone for joining us for today's chat with Janis Davis-Street from NASA Johnson Space Center. A very special thanks to Janis for chatting with us online today!


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