The fact that the Americans began to feed the Russians became known thanks to the negotiations of the ISS crew with the Earth - they were broadcast by NASA. How it happened, what is the difference between the space menus of the two countries, and what the Russian cosmonauts still lack - in the material of MBH Media.
Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov were left without food due to the postponement of the launch of the Progress MS-16 cargo spacecraft. It was planned to be sent to the ISS on December 11, 2020, but in the end the launch was postponed to February 2021. This delay, as previously reported by Roscosmos, is associated with the need for additional checks. Due to the postponement of the launch of the space truck, the Americans were asked to deliver Russian food to the station, but instead they offered to share theirs, because, as it turned out, the astronauts have large supplies of food.
In total, according to Sergei Ryzhikov, they received more than 10 containers with food rations from their colleagues. At the same time, the Americans help the Russians free of charge.
On the evening of January 19, the head of the flight of the Russian segment of the station, Vladimir Soloviev, said that the situation with the nutrition of the Russian cosmonauts on the ISS did not raise questions. He noted that the ISS has a common habitat, in particular the oxygen supply, the carbon dioxide removal system and much more. According to Solovyov, astronauts and astronauts also have the opportunity to exchange food, especially during a joint meal, depending on the taste and preferences of each crew member, and they regulate the diet on their own.
The diet of astronauts should be strictly balanced in terms of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and trace elements, because in zero gravity many changes occur in the human body, for example, calcium is washed out of the bones. In the 80s of the last century, there were about 300 dishes in the Soviet space menu. In modern Russia, their number has decreased to 160 items. At the same time, new dishes constantly appear, and old ones go away. In addition, Russian cosmonauts themselves can leave applications in which they indicate what they would like to try in orbit. In Soviet times, cosmonauts ate food from tubes, but for a long time it was replaced by freeze-dried products, that is, dehydrated.
Among the long-lived space dishes that have remained on the menu of Russian cosmonauts since the 60s, there is Ukrainian borscht, chicken fillet, entrecotes, beef tongue and special bread that does not crumble. In recent years, the Russian diet has included a combined hodgepodge, mushroom soup, stewed vegetables with rice, green bean salad, Greek salad, canned poultry meat, an omelet with chicken liver, chicken meat with nutmeg and other products. The daily norm of a Russian cosmonaut is about 3200 kcal, which are consumed in four meals. The most nutritious product is condensed milk. The Russian module on the ISS lacks a refrigerator and a microwave oven, so Russian cosmonauts, unlike foreign ones, are deprived of the opportunity to use semi-finished products and quick-frozen foods.
In the American segment of the station, these household appliances are available, which makes the diet of the astronauts richer and more varied. But apart from the possibility of eating semi-finished products by heating them in the microwave, American space food is not much different from Russian - the only difference is in the arrangement of dishes, and the main products are used the same. The exception is bread: instead, American astronauts eat tortillas. It is also believed that Americans are more fond of citrus fruits, while Russians prefer apples. In addition, astronauts on the ISS are often supplied with regular food from the supermarket, but in space packaging after special processing. Like the Russians, NASA astronauts may ask to add something from their favorite foods and drinks to the menu.
Despite the availability of household appliances, US astronauts have recently begun to give preference to freeze-dried products. If earlier their ratio was 70 ready-made products to 30 freeze-dried, now it is already 50 to 50. Most American dishes are vacuum packed. They are cheaper to transport, easier to heat in the microwave, and can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time. In addition, thanks to vacuum packaging, space food retains all the beneficial properties and vitamins.
In 2015, Esquire published anonymized complaints from NASA astronaut diaries about Russian cosmonauts. One of the Americans was unhappy with the abundance of Russian cuisine due to the fact that most of the cargo to the ISS was delivered by Russian ships.
Without linen and gifts
Food is not the only thing that Russian cosmonauts have recently lost due to the postponement of the Progress launch. At the beginning of December last year, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, ISS flight engineer for the ISS-64 long-term space missions program, spoke about the lack of linen. At the beginning of December, the specialist noted that the remaining sets of "Camellia-S", which include a sweatshirt with short sleeves, pants and socks, would only last for 3-4 weeks at the station. Astronauts can use underwear for everyday wear or for sports.
And at the end of 2020, it became known that due to the postponement of the launch of a space truck, Russians were left without gifts for the New Year from families and friends. But they themselves prepared for the holiday in advance and took souvenirs for their foreign colleagues with them. In addition to them, American astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Kathleen Rubens, as well as the Japanese Soichi Noguchi are now at the station.
Other launch transfers
Roskosmos quite often postpones launches of cargo ships. For example, in 2018, the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with the Progress MS-08 space truck was postponed at the last moment - it was supposed to take place on February 11, but the spacecraft was launched two days later. Then the state corporation reported that the reason was the automation team to turn off the rocket engines.
A year later, due to claims to the onboard cable, the launch of the Progress MS-13 space truck to the ISS was first postponed from December 1 to 6, but later returned to the original launch date at the request of NASA in order to avoid overlaps when docking the American Dragon truck to the station. which was also scheduled for December 6th.