Ever since reading The Martian years ago, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of eating in space. Whether it be during a long interstellar journey to another planet, living in a permanent spacecraft like the Space station, or colonizing Mars or the Moon, the book (and later the film) crystalized for me the monumental challenge of solving for long-term survival and sustenance outside of our own home planet.
One person who’s been thinking about this challenge for a long time is Angelo Vermeulen. As the founder of SEAD, the commander of the first HI-SEAS mission, and as part of the European Space Agency’s MELiSSA project, Vermeulen has dedicated much of his career working on ideas for how to solve the problem of feeding humans in space.
In this episode, we talk about his experience as commander of the first HI-SEAS mission, some of his key takeaways, and the current state of space food research. We also explore how thinking about food for space could change how we feed ourselves here on earth.