What Apollo 11 Astronauts Ate For The First Official Meal On The Moon

Where you eat something can be just as important as what you're eating. Ice cream tastes better outside on a hot summer day, hot chocolate is somehow even more delicious walking through a front door dusting snow off of yourself, and all snacks are infinitely more enjoyable in bed despite the mess it may prove to be. So how would a more unique setting like the moon impact the flavor of something as delicious as bacon?

According to NASA, astronauts actually have a wide variety of food options available to them while up on missions. Some foods are dehydrated, some are freeze-dried, some require special preparation, and some do not. Even Chef Alain Ducasse prepared a special menu for the European Space Agency. Astronauts have their nutrition strictly monitored and controlled before, during, and after missions which means that they may have healthier diets while up in space than many of us do down on Earth. 

The first meal (on the Moon)

According to Royal Museums Greenwich, the first thing ever eaten by a human in space was a beef and liver paste out of an aluminum tube. This was consumed cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961. According to Insider, the honor of the first American to eat in space fell on John Glenn aboard Friendship 7 in 1962. He slurped apple sauce out of a tube similar to what Yuri Gagarin used the year before.

But after Apollo 11's lunar module touched down on the moon while astronaut Michael Collins remained in orbit, tests were conducted, samples taken, cameras broadcasted, famous words said, footprints treaded, and a flag planted, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were hungry. They reached for what Carnegie Mellon University Libraries described as regular astronaut rations to include: " ... four bacon squares, three sugar cookies, peaches, pineapple-grapefruit drink, and coffee." Author James R. Hansen wrote in his book, "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong," that Buzz Aldrin later described a meal he ate on the mission as "delicious." 

According to NASA things can sometimes taste different in space with astronauts giving wildly different accounts of how certain foods tasted while in space. Despite its historical significance in spaceflight history, historian Amy Shira Teitel told Smithsonian Magazine that bacon is not currently on the menu for astronauts. However, it is still an interesting thought that a culinary connective tissue between Earth and the Apollo 11 moon landing was bacon.