High School students compete in cook-off for astronaut recipe selection

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HOUSTON, TX - Teams of high school students are competing at NASA's Johnson Space Center to have their dish selected as food for the International Space Station.  So, come on astronauts get down on the ground and eat!

"Students are challenged to make food that has certain specifications in it, such as sodium content, sugar content, carbohydrates and fiber," explained Alli Westover, project manager for the NASA Culinary Challenge.

So much for the celebrity chef because these young folks are actually cooking for the few people who managed to leave planet Earth and come back.

"It is really amazing to have the opportunity to come and cook for astronauts who go up in space," said Shelvy Richey, from Cypress Woods High School.

Can you imagine?  Living in outer space for weeks or months, and eating whatever is processed and packaged.  At what point do astronauts start fantasizing about juicy chicken legs?

"I'm from Japan and for a long-duration flight… after a few months on board I really wished I had sushi," admitted astronaut Koichi Wakata.

"The biggest challenge in making the proper food for astronauts is the fact that we do not have refrigerators or freezers for food on board the International Space Station," expressed Vickie Kloeris, Manager of the ISS Food System at NASA.

Schools represented at the challenge are Oakridge High School, Conroe, Texas; Cypress Woods High School, Cypress, Texas; York School of Technology, York, Pennsylvania; Ulster BOCES Career and Technology Center, Port Ewen, New York; Phoebus High School, Hampton, Virginia; and Clear Brook High School, Friendswood, Texas.

To be honest, we still don't know who won the culinary challenge, but one thing is for sure, somebody is taking off with a full stomach.


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