In the summer of 2017, the Mars Desert Research Station, which is owned and operated by the Mars Society, will host a 2-week simulated Mars mission with 6 astronauts in the Utah desert.
What could this possibly have to do with vegan butchers? Well....
We were contacted by Josh Borchardt, a Research Scientist at Advanced Space and Technology Research Laboratory (ASTER) here in Minnesota, about helping to create a vegan meal plan for the mission.
How could we refuse?
But also, where to start? Naturally, with the food!
Josh stopped by the shop for a taste test and upon the first bite said it was already better than the freeze-dried offerings he's used to having on missions. This of course was wonderful to hear, so the next step is to develop a meal plan including costs.
If all goes well with this simulation, it could lead to actually taking our meatless meats into space! The missions rely on fundraising, either through grants or donations, so once we move forward in the process, we may ask for your consideration in donating to the fund.
Aside from enjoying an entirely plant-based diet on the mission, they will run some basic tests and surveys on the astronauts to see how they respond to eating vegan for 2 weeks.
Nothing is guaranteed or set in stone yet, but we are thrilled at this amazing opportunity!
Learn more about what happens during the simulated missions at the links below:
Aubry, Josh and Collin
Mars Plant Growth Study, photo provided by Josh Borchardt
Josh in a simulated space suit making soil observations