Metric Evaluation of Food Packaging Scenarios Intended for a Mars Surface Mission 2006-01-2067
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is working towards future long duration manned space flights beyond low earth orbit. For these missions several food provisioning strategies are being investigated. Individual, prepackaged meals may be provided throughout the mission or commodities may be taken in bulk and processed while on the planetary surface. To enable these different supply scenarios, a packaging system must be developed that will protect the food or commodity and have minimal impact on system mass. Metric values for a prepackaged scenario and a bulk supply scenario, using current packaging material technologies, were compared. The results of this comparison show that bulk packaging penalties will potentially be more than an order of magnitude less than those of a prepackaged food system.