There are few topics more enthralling than human spaceflight. Food and nutrition are of particular interest, given the obvious commonality with those of us remaining on Earth. From the early days of eating food packed in toothpaste tubes, the space program has come a long way. Beyond food itself, understanding the nutritional requirements for spaceflight presents another challenge. It is the primary responsibility of NASA’s Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory to understand the nutritional requirements of astronauts on extended-duration flights to the International Space Station, and on future exploration missions. In this book, we provide an overview of space programs from the earliest human space flight through the current gem that is the International Space Station. The book also covers the role of nutrition in the space program, describes how space nutrition research is conducted, and highlights much of the research that has been completed or is ongoing at NASA.
The concept for this book grew from an education/outreach project conceived and initiated in 2001. The Space Nutrition Newsletter was an effort to bring elementary/intermediate students along on a journey with the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory to conduct space research, and to better understand the role of nutrition in human space flight. The team that compiled this book includes individuals integral to that effort. Three of the authors have spent almost 50 years working with the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. The 4th author is an educator who started as classroom teacher receiving the newsletters and integrating them into her lessons. She later joined NASA as an education specialist. The newsletters wouldn’t be complete without the outstanding graphics that started with the newsletter, and were expanded for this effort. This team has a remarkable dedication to NASA’s education and outreach efforts, as evidenced herein.
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Engaging and fun learning resource
My son (8 yrs old, entering 3rd grade) and I have really enjoyed going through this book. We are just reading for fun, but I could easily see this book used in an educational setting as part of a science or health curriculum. It’s helped him understand more about space, scientific research, nutrition and physiology in a very clear manner. It is also the first ebook that I've read, which takes advantage of the fact that you are no longer limited to 2 dimensions on paper, but that you can integrate video, audio and scrolling photo libraries. Make sure you rotate your iPad and read this book in landscape as it doesn't work properly in portrait.