Cutting open the package

HOUSTON--How does NASA prepare food for its astronauts? At a Food Lab, of course.

As part of CNET Road Trip 2014, I traveled to Johnson Space Center to see just how the space agency deals with the nutrition (and variety) needs of its astronauts.

Click here for my full story on the NASA Food Lab.

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Beans

A look inside a "thermo-stabilized" package of beans. That means the package has water added, and the beans can be eaten as soon as it's opened on the ISS.

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Septum-adapter assembly

Kimberly Glaus-Late shows the septum-adapter assembly, essentially a straw system through which liquid is added to a dried food. The septum-adapter assembly allows for the introduction of liquid without it trying to flow back out due to the law of partial pressure.

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Lemonade and grapefruit juice

Seen here are two packages containing lemonade and grapefruit juices for consumption aboard the International Space Station.

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Mexican scrambled eggs

NASA astronauts eat from a standard menu of about 200 items. They also get to choose a small number of custom items for personal consumption. This is a package of Mexican Scrambled Eggs.

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Lunch is served

A sample meal of chicken fajitas with beans is served at NASA's Food Lab in Houston.

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Many meals

A variety of current and past astronaut meals on display at the Food Lab.

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Peach-apricot and mango-peach smoothie

These packages contain peach-apricot juice and mango-peach smoothie.

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Boxes of packaged meals

A box containing meal packages. Boxes like this are sent to the ISS whenever a cargo launch is available.

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M&Ms

A crew favorite is M&Ms.

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Sodium reduction award

The Food Lab was recognized for its work on a sodium-reduction program.

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