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Cutting open the package

Beans

Septum-adapter assembly

Lemonade and grapefruit juice

Mexican scrambled eggs

Lunch is served

Many meals

Peach-apricot and mango-peach smoothie

Boxes of packaged meals

M&Ms

Sodium reduction award

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.

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

A crew favorite is M&Ms.

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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