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Man-In-Space Firsts:
Haute Cuisine

First to eat in orbit: USSR cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin, the first person to go to space, ate and drank during his one orbit of Earth in 1961. U.S. astronaut John Glenn ate applesauce during his three-orbit flight in 1962.

First tube steaks in orbit: Mercury astronauts squeezed food from toothpaste tubes. Walter M. "Wally" Schirra Jr. lunched in October 1962 on beef, vegetables and peaches.

First granola bars in orbit: Pillsbury supplied Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1962 with amazing new high-protein cereal snacks. Nestle sent along cereals with raisins and almonds. Today we call these granola bars.

First corned beef sandwich in space: Astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom ate the first corned beef sandwich in orbit during a five-hour flight in March 1965. The sandwich caused a congressional fuss and new rules later prevented such casual dining.

First baggies in space: Plastic bags of freeze-dried foods, liquified by water pistol, were used in Gemini flights in 1965-66, including the first shrimp cocktail in space.

First hot food in space: Apollo astronauts flying from 1968-75 heated water to 154 degrees Fahrenheit to make hot foods and drinks.

First Moon food: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin drank coffee and chowed down on hot dogs, bacon squares, canned peaches, and sugar cookies on the Moon in 1969.

First ice cream in orbit: The Skylab space station had a refrigerator so the American astronauts could have prime rib, German potato salad made with onions and vinegar and ice cream, along with their hot chili, scrambled eggs and liquid pepper for spice.

First strawberries in orbit: Shuttle astronauts dine on smoked turkey, cream of mushroom soup, mixed Italian veggies, vanilla pudding, and freeze-dried strawberries moistened in the mouth.

First junk food in orbit: Shuttle astronauts chew gum after they pig out on almond crunch bars, graham crackers, pecan cookies, nuts, and Life Savers. They drink orange, lemon, orange-grapefruit, orange-pineapple, strawberry and apple drinks and tropical punch.

First Coke and Pepsi in space: Charles Gordon Fullerton, Roy D. Bridges Jr., Loren W. Acton, F. S. "Story" Musgrave, Anthony W. "Tony" England, Karl G. Henize and John-David F. Bartoe in shuttle Challenger in July 1985 quenched their thirsts on a summer day, drinking the first Coke and Pepsi in orbit from special cans.

First gourmet food in space: The first French cuisine in orbit was taken to the space station Salyut 7 in 1982 by French cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chretien. In 1985, French astronaut Patrick Baudry treated his fellow crew members aboard U.S. shuttle Discovery to gourmet dining.

Best space food consumed: At Mir station in 1988, French cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chretien treated Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov, Alexander Volkov, Sergei Krikalev and Valery Polyakov to 23 gourmet foods from a French chef, including compote of pigeon with dates and dried raisins, duck with artichokes, oxtail fondue with tomatoes and pickles, beef bourguignon, saute de veau Marengo, ham and fruit pates, bread, rolls, cheeses, nuts, coffee and chocolate bars. The delicacies were canned. The chef, saying French cuisine is inconceivable without wine, regretted a bottle could not go to space, but wine and sauces would float away without gravity. Dishes had to be small without bones, or sauces to become flying droplets. Meat was made to absorb sauce to guard against dryness.

First to break bread together: Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Deke Slayton joined cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov for a lunch of borscht, chicken and turkey during the Apollo-Soyuz linkup in 1975.

Pass the Simethicone: Gas passed out of the mouth in zero gravity often brings vomit with it. Passing gas in the other direction is no better, so astronauts learn to live with gas pains. William Pogue, who spent 84 days at Skylab station in 1973-74, reportedly told a friend, "Farting about 500 times a day is not a good way to go."

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