May 20, 1962 - Lieut. Comdr. Scott Carpenter will be the first American to eat solid food in space, according to present plans for his orbital flight. The purpose is to determine how well a person can eat, swallow, and digest solid foods while in the state of weightlessness. The experiment is a step toward developing foods that can be used to sustain astronauts during far longer flights than the three-orbit space trip Commander Carpenter is scheduled to make from Cape Canaveral soon. He will take with him a bag of specially prepared bite-sized chunks of food. They will total about 300 calories altogether. Some of the chunks will be high protein cereal with raisins, fruit, or nuts. Others will contain fruit and nut combinations, or fruit alone, or with milk chocolate. In the first U.S. manned orbital space flight, Lieut. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. ate applesauce from a plastic tube but did not drink water or eat solid food such as the chunks Commander Carpenter will consume.
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