Energy of an Astronaut

Your Mission
Astronauts living on the International Space Station need balanced meals to meet their energy and health needs while in space. Food scientists and nutritionists at space agencies ensure that astronauts eat balanced meals in space by consulting the Nutrition Fact labels and studying the nutritional needs of astronauts before food is packaged for both short and long duration spaceflight. 
 
In this investigation, teams will identify healthy food choices in the Food Pyramid to maintain a healthy body weight and learn how Calorie needs are different on Earth and in space. 
 
Mission Question
How can Nutrition Fact labels be used to determine how much food I need for one day?
 
Skills
Scientific Methodology, Communication, Problem-solving, Teamwork
Learning Objectives:
  • investigate the Food Pyramid and the basic foods that make up a balanced diet and daily energy needs
  • examine a Nutrition Facts labels for serving size and Calories, protein, calcium and vitamins
  • determine individual daily energy needs
  • create a five-day menu based on Food Pyramid recommendations and individual dietary needs
Equipment
  • Per class:
    • computer with Internet access
    • LCD projector or overhead projector
    • painters tape
    • six sentence strips
    • food packaging from the six food groups
  • Per group (3 students per group):
    • Nutrition Facts labels from corn, flour, and wheat tortillas
  • Per student:
    • Energy of an Astronaut Student Handout
    • Food Pyramid Data Sheet
    • Fit Explorer Personal Five-Day Menu Planner
    • blank sheet of paper
Time
Preparation: 30 min
Lesson: 3 x 45 min sessions

Other activities

Space Rock-n-Roll

Your MissionIn the microgravity environment of the International Space...

Explore and Discover

Your MissionTo explore the Moon and Mars, astronauts must...

Bonus Activity: Touchdown Charlie

Your Mission Playing sports requires teamwork and preparation. Teammates...

Do a Spacewalk

Your MissionIn a reduced gravity environment, astronauts are unable...

Bonus Activity: Cosmic Cartwheels

Your MissionIn microgravity, astronauts love to perform spectacular somersaults....

What’s your Space Height?

Your MissionHow tall are you? Are you sure you...

Bonus Activity: 26.2 with Tim

Your MissionAccumulate a total of 42 km (26.2 mi)...

Base Station Walk-back

Your MissionWhen exploring space, astronauts complete many physical tasks....

en_GBEN