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Space Team Online QuestChat

Date: February 9, 1999

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



[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 0 - 08:52:03 ]
Hello to our early arriving chat participants! Today's Space Team Online/Black History Month chat with Janis Davis-Street from NASA Johnson Space Center will begin at 9:30 a.m., Pacific Standard Time. Be sure you have read Janis' profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/team/davis.html before joining this chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 1 - 08:52:26 ]
Once the chat begins, Janis will attempt to answer as many of your questions as she can, but please be patient. Because we have many registrants participating, today's chat will be MODERATED. This means that only a few questions will be posted to the chat room at a time. Don't worry if your questions do not appear on your screen immediately during moderation. They will be held in our chat queue and posted as Janis answers those ahead of you.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 2 - 08:52:49 ]
Remember to enter "Your Handle" in the box provided before posting messages to the chat room. Once you've done this, please let us know that you have logged on for today's chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 3 - 08:53:15 ]
At the conclusion of today's chat, we ask that you take a few minutes to let us know what you thought about it. For your convenience, you may use our online feedback forms at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. We look forward to hearing from you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 09:24:51 ]
Hello and welcome to today's Space Team Online/Black History Month chat 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 - 11 - 09:25:15 ]
And now, here is Janis Davis-Street to answer your questions.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 8 - 09:24:52 ]
Good morning everyone

[ debbie - 9 - 09:25:15 ]
is the nutrition pyramid idea more or less of the same importance in space as it down here ?

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 12 - 09:26:27 ]
Hi Debbie - The food requirements for space are very similar to those on Earth. There are some nutrients that we are especially concerned with - like calcium and vitamin D among others.

[ Brenda - 10 - 09:25:15 ]
How does nutritional imbalance affect the astronauts while in outer space?

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 13 - 09:27:51 ]
Brenda - The consequences of nutritional balance can potentially be very serious. The most obvious one would be too much weight loss.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 18 - 09:33:17 ]
RE: [Chris] How much time do you spend with your family? Is your job hard or easy? How are you able to take care of two boys,a husband,two dogs,and be a nutritonist? What do you do to make the astronauts food nutritional?
I try to spend as much time as I can with my kids - weekends are very special. I think the dogs get neglected but they are good company for each other. I enjoy being a nutritionist. I think my job is more challenging than hard. We also try to understand the effect of space on the body, so that we can make sure that the food we fly on the shuttle is nutritionally adequate.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 24 - 09:36:46 ]
RE: [Aida] What did they eat?
Aida - the astronauts eat foods similar to those that are available on the ground. We sometimes have to package them differently to make them suitable. For example - many of the foods and drinks are dehydrated, so the crew adds water to them while on orbit.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 25 - 09:38:27 ]
RE: [Christine] What is the best part of being a nutritionist for NASA?
Christine - I enjoy interacting with the astronauts and our outside investigators, as well as working with my peers. It is a very exciting job.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 27 - 09:39:53 ]
RE: [JonathanFromGeorgetownDaySchool] What kinds of foods do astronauts like the most?
Jonathan - tastes are about as different as they are for people on Earth. A favorite is shrimp cocktail - thta one gets lots of rave reviews

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 29 - 09:40:56 ]
RE: [Christine] How did you begin your career in the nutrition area?
I went to college and studied nutrition. Then in Graduate school I did some research in nutrition. I have been studying nutrition for about 10 years now.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 34 - 09:43:46 ]
RE: [Brenda] When you freeze dry the food does it lose any nutritional value?
Brenda - potentially there might be a few vitamins lost during processing. The evidence we have to date shows that this is probably very little, but that is still under investigation. Good question

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 35 - 09:44:39 ]
RE: [Desmond] How many people go into the space ships?
Desmond - crew sizes on the Shuttle vary from about 5 - 9. On the Mir Space Station there were crews of 3.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 36 - 09:45:49 ]
RE: [taryn] which space teams do you plan food for?
Taryn - we do all the research that investigates the role of nutrition in space. We then give this information to the food scientists and dietitians, and they plan all the meals for the astronauts

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 40 - 09:46:39 ]
RE: [Jaynoora] How can you prevent weight loss in space?
Jaynoora - The best way is to eat the right amount of calories.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 41 - 09:48:01 ]
RE: [Latisha] What kind of foods go up in space to keep astronauts healthy?
Latisha - Many are foods that you would recognize like beef patties, scrambled eggs, broccoli (my favorite), strawberries, peaches etc.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 42 - 09:48:30 ]
RE: [Edwin] Do astronauts take vitamins?
Edwin - I believe that some do.

[ AntonioPenderHigh - 43 - 09:48:55 ]
What was your GPA and did your parents have high expectation s for you?

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 48 - 09:51:22 ]
Our school system in Guyana is a little different from the US system - but I was usually a straight A student in school. My parents had high expectations of all their children and encouraged us to dream of a big future. I think that's very important and hope to do the same with my children.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 47 - 09:49:29 ]
RE: [CrystalPenderHigh] What advanced math and science courses did you take in high school?
Crystal High - I took courses in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics, Calculus. My favorite in high school was Biology

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 50 - 09:53:09 ]
RE: [Morgan] How did you get started working as a Nutritionist at NASA? Since you wanted to become a doctor what changed your mind to become a Nutritioist?
Morgan - I actually applied for an advertised job in the paper. My experience working in Guyana (see my journal) was very influential in making me decide to be a nutritionist.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 51 - 09:53:46 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Have you ever taste tested any space food!
Yes I have - most of it is pretty good

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 55 - 09:54:14 ]
RE: [aida] do the austronauts ever run out of food in space? what do they do?
Aida - we've never had that happen. There is always extra sent up.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 56 - 09:55:07 ]
RE: [christine] what was the most difficult project you had accomplished?
Most difficult - would be trying to find a way to collect urine samples in space.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 60 - 09:56:15 ]
RE: [Edwin] What kind of work do you do when astronauts are in space?
Soemtimes we have studies where the atsronauts will collect samples - saliva, urine and blood. When those come back we analyse them and try to examine what the effects of space flight are.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 61 - 09:56:36 ]
RE: [Jaynoora] have you ever met Sally Ride.
Jaynoora - no I haven't

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 62 - 09:57:10 ]
RE: [Latisha] How many meals do you plan for each astronaut?
Typically - 3 meals plus snacks each day

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 63 - 09:57:33 ]
RE: [CrystalPenderHigh] Out of all the places you've traveled,what were your favorite and why.
I think it would probably be British Columbia - it's just TOTALLY gorgeous

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 67 - 09:58:01 ]
RE: [CRYSTALLPENDER] WHILE YOU ATTENED COLLEGE DID YOU DO A CO-OP PROGRAM; IF SO HOW MANY YEARS WERE YOU INVOLVED AND WHERE WERE YOU SENT TO CO-OP AT?
No - I was always a full-time traditional student

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 68 - 09:59:13 ]
RE: [Edwin] What happens if astronauts get sick?
They are in contact with doctors on the ground, and often doctors are part of the crew. I don't think we 've ever had any serious illnesses in recent time. Our crews are usually very healthy and in good physical condition.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 69 - 09:59:16 ]
We'd like to remind you to share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 73 - 10:00:26 ]
RE: [Desmond] What kind of snack foods do they eat
Desmond here are a few - M&Ms, almonds, fruit, cookies, trail mix are some

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 74 - 10:01:08 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] What is it you look for when planning an astronauts meal?
Enough calories, protein and all essential nutrients

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 80 - 10:03:39 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] Is there any nutritional facts that we should know that will help us?
Eat a variety foods (especially fruits and vegetables). Teenagers should make sure that they eat enough because they are growing and good eating habits are formed when we're young.

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 84 - 10:05:54 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Was America a different experience for you when you moved here and do you like it from being in Guyana?
America is a lot different from the Guyana that I grew up in. We had no TV - so I read a lot. There are a lot of things I love about both places

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 89 - 10:07:08 ]
RE: [JonathanFromGeorgetownDaySchool] How is calcium in bones lost while in space? Also, how does a person's metabolism change in space?
We are trying to understand the process of calcium loss from bones. It looks like bone breakdown (which is normal process) is increased

[ JanisDavisStreet/JSC - 90 - 10:08:30 ]
RE: [JonathanFromGeorgetownDaySchool] How is calcium in bones lost while in space? Also, how does a person's metabolism change in space?
We are trying to undestand the process of calcium loss from bones. It looks like bone breakdown (which is normal process) is increased

[ Janis - 91 - 10:11:33 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] Does the food spoil faster in outer space?
The special packages reduce spoilage.

[ Janis - 93 - 10:12:37 ]
RE: [CrystalPenderHigh] Did you play any sports or was involved in any extracurricular activities in high school?
I was not very athletic, but did some dancing, sang in the choir, and enjoyed being in my church's youth club

[ Janis - 98 - 10:13:35 ]
RE: [JonathanFromGeorgetownDaySchool] What does the average in-space meal consist of?
Typically - a balance meal like one on earth, it would have all the food groups

[ Janis - 99 - 10:15:35 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] What do you use to make the food? Are you the one who prepares it for the astronauts? Do you also go into space with them?
Another group here onsite takes care of the food. Some items are like those we get at the grocery store, otheres are foods like those from the military food system, othere are made here on-site. (P.S. I don't get to fly on the Shuttle)

[ Janis - 101 - 10:17:40 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] How do you know what's good for the astronauts? how and where did you research the facts?
We use our undestanding of basic nutrition from the research that we have on Earth. We have some ground-based studies that we use to eaxmine specific problems - like bedrest to eaxmine bone loss.

[ Janis - 102 - 10:19:41 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Have you ever been to space yourself? If so how many times? If not would you ever like to go or do you find it easier to stay on Earth?
No - I've never been. I get motion sickness, so I probably won't ne a good candidate

[ Janis - 107 - 10:21:04 ]
RE: [Krystal] How many years have you worked with NASA and was it difficult for you to leave your family and friends?
I've been at NASA for about 8 years. I left Guyana 18 years ago and have lots of friends all over the world. I do miss my family, but w etry to see each other as often as we can

[ Janis - 109 - 10:23:25 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Did you have to get a Ph.D. in Nutrition before you could start at NASA?
No - I have a Master's degree in Nutritional Biochemistry. There are many Ph.D.'s here too.

[ Janis - 110 - 10:24:39 ]
RE: [CrystalPenderHigh] You said that your husband was an organic chemist. Are there any trends in the work between your husbands work and your own? Were his studies in college simliar to yours?
My husband is an organic chemist. We have a shared interest in science - nutrition has it's basis in chemistry, so we have lots in common.

[ Janis - 115 - 10:25:52 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] Does nutritional difficiency effect the astronaut more or less than on earth?
Nutrition is important in both cases. It's easier to get to the store to get a variety of foods on Earth, as well as getting to a doctor if you had a problem.

[ Janis - 116 - 10:26:21 ]
RE: [Latisha] How many hours of sleep do the astronauts get when they're in space?
They are scheduled to get 8 hours

[ Janis - 118 - 10:26:59 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Being a Nutritionist is your weight in proper standing from the knowledge you have attained over the years?
More or less (probably a little more)

[ Janis - 121 - 10:31:55 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] Does everyone rely on you when it comes to preparing nutritional foods for them to eat? Are you in charge of all the food? Are you the only one who prepares the food or do you have assistants?
Our group doesn't actually make the food, we do the research that determines how much protein, calories, vitamins, carbohydrates etc. are need each day when in space

[ Janis - 122 - 10:33:17 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] Is there anything you dislike about being a nutritionist? Are you the only nutritionist there or are there more than one? Do people depend on you to get the right facts and make the meals good?
No - we have 5 nutritionists in our group. We also have others who are experts in biochemistry and laboratory techniques

[ Janis - 126 - 10:34:38 ]
RE: [Taryn] Are all there foods in tubes?
No - in the early days they were. Now the food looks a lot like Earth food.

[ Janis - 127 - 10:35:19 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Where are you transmitting to us from?
The NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX (Home of the astronauts and Mission Control)

[ Janis - 133 - 10:36:58 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Does the body really change in any aspect's of getting older or when coming back does your eating habits change?
Many of the effects of space flight are similar to those of aging. I believe food habits stay the same after flight.

[ Janis - 134 - 10:37:30 ]
RE: [Jaynoora] What is it like to have an organic chemist as a husband?
He's very smart - and it's good to have a shared interest in science

[ Janis - 135 - 10:37:57 ]
RE: [Edwin] Has there ever been a time when astronauts ran out of oxygen?
Not in the US space program

[ Janis - 136 - 10:38:16 ]
RE: [AntonioPenderHigh] Is your husband from America or some other country like Guyana?
He is American

[ Janis - 137 - 10:38:35 ]
RE: [Edwin] Have you ever met John Glenn?
I've been in the same room

[ Janis - 138 - 10:38:56 ]
RE: [Latisha] Has anyone ever complained about the food you send in space?
Some do. Others enjoy it.

[ Janis - 144 - 10:41:31 ]
RE: [MontgomeryHigh] What is the yearly income that a nutritionist receives?
It varies depending on education and experience

[ Janis - 145 - 10:41:59 ]
RE: [ShannonPenderHighSchool] Well how many places have you traveled so far?
I've been to several US states, England, several Caribbean islands and Canada

[ Janis - 146 - 10:42:17 ]
RE: [Latisha] Have you ever had somebody under twenty go up in space?
Not in the US space program

[ Janis - 152 - 10:43:05 ]
RE: [MarkPenderHighSchool] Where did you attend college and was a hard thing for you to accomplish?
I attended University of Guelph in Canada. College was one of the best experiences in my life.

[ Janis - 153 - 10:43:30 ]
RE: [CRYSTALLPENDER] HAVE YOU EVER BEEN BACK TO YOUR HOME COUNTRY?
I try to go every 3 - 4 years

[ Edwin - 147 - 10:42:33 ]
We have enjoyed our chat ,thankyou for your time.

[ Taryn - 148 - 10:42:33 ]
We've enjoyed your chat good bye.

[ Latisha - 149 - 10:42:33 ]
THANKS FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS, BYE

[ Desmond - 150 - 10:42:33 ]
We've enjoyed the chat room BYE!

[ Jaynoora - 151 - 10:42:33 ]
We have enjoyed our talk good by.

[ Janis - 154 - 10:44:39 ]
Bye all - I had a great time too. Thank you for your interest in the space program. Remember to work hard and dream big. The future holds exciting things for the space program

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 119 - 10:29:45 ]
We'd like to remind you to share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 117 - 10:26:56 ]
At this time, we would like to thank all of you for joining us today. We appreciate your patience during our moderated chat, and hope you enjoyed chatting with Janis Davis-Street from NASA Johnson Space Center.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 120 - 10:30:02 ]
We hope you can join us for our next Black History Month chat with Tony Bruins from NASA Johnson Space Center. This chat is scheduled for Thursday, February 11, at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Check the BHM chat schedule page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/special/mlk99 to learn more about this chat. Also check our schedule of events page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events/ to lerarn about other upcoming chats with NASA experts.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 155 - 10:47:17 ]
A VERY special thanks to Janis Davis-Street for sharing her first-hand experiences and expertise about space nutrition with us online today. We really enjoyed it, Janis, and look forward to chatting with you again. Have a terrific day!


 
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