Hi Rohan!

I also LOVE cheeseburgers, so you’re not alone. Thankfully, NASA’s space food researchers have developed a beef patty specifically for space.

Here’s a picture of one of the samples I have at home with me. It’s been freeze-dried, which is a process of food preservation by removing the water content. Before an astronaut eats it, they have to rehydrate it at a special rehydration station in the International Space Station. That’s why there’s a nozzle at the top of the package, and the label on the package says to “add 50 mL of hot water and wait 10-15min”. Voila! You can even see grill marks on the beef patty, which might help remind astronauts of barbecuing with family and friends back home.

Burger buns are more challenging in space because astronauts need to avoid crumb flyaways in zero g! They often use tortillas as a replacement for most bread products. Maybe YOU could invent a CRUMBLESS BURGER BUN!

Last but not least…the CHEESE. Astronauts have liquid cheese in space. I prefer the ooey-gooey real stuff, but in space we sometimes need to make compromises.

Thanks for bringing up the possibility of growing meat in space. There are researchers who are thinking about this as a possible substitute in space, AND on Earth. It’s fascinating to imagine what a future lab-grown SPACE BURGER might look like, and how the zero-g environment could inspire and even enable new forms.