How Much is Waste? Activity

The original design of the space food packaging for Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo was light in weight and required minimum storage space. As spacecraft design improved, allowing for longer flight durations and larger crew and cargo capabilities, the food manifest also greatly improved. For instance, the space shuttle and ISS food lists contain nuts, shelled to reduce waste and mess. Onboard waste containment is a concern for spaceflight. In this three-part activity, students will minimize the mass of a grocery store package; determine the usable and waste portions of 10 nuts; determine the edible and waste portions of a piece of fruit; and calculate percentages of each. To download the .pdf document, click here.

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