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Bacon Was the First Thing Ever Eaten on the Moon, Obviously

I usually don't like that much cheese with my breakfast, but I'll make an exception just this once—Neil Armstrong.


I know it’s been keeping you up at night. “Sure, American astronauts have made great leaps in exploring the final frontier. But, have we eaten enough bacon in space?” Not to worry, fellow patriots: turns out having access to bacon was a top priority for many of history’s most intrepid space explorers.

In her article When Bacon Flew To The Moon or #Spacebacon, Amy Shira Teitel writes for Vintage Space Blog that mankind’s first picnic on the moon was eaten at the Sea of Tranquility and consisted of “bacon squares, peaches, sugar cookie cubes, pineapple grapefruit drink and coffee”, so yeah, aliens—we earthlings know how to bust a grub.

Apparently Armstrong and Co. were simply continuing a tradition of outer space bacon consumption started by previous Apollo missions. Bacon was already a staple of the astronauts meal kits, particularly Canadian bacon cubes with apple sauce. On the Apollo 8 mission, astronaut Jim Lovell is reported to have said, “Happiness is bacon squares for breakfast,” which although not the most memorable of space declarations, should probably still be incorporated somehow into NASA’s logo.

Teitel writes that the Apollo 9 crew also ate bacon with an almost alarming frequency, “in three out of four breakfasts, as part of lunch on days 4 and 8, and as part of their dinner on days 2, 6, and 10.” Disaster struck on the Apollo 12 mission, when astronaut Pete Conrad reportedly lost his bacon cubes while on the far side of the moon, exclaiming, “What happened to my bacon? I guess it got away.” And thus, space exploration claimed another casualty.

With Apollo 16 and 17 missions came a larger selections of food and, tragically, a smaller emphasis on America’ unofficial national pig part—bacon was available for a mere 50% of breakfasts.


Apollo food packs. Where’s the beef bacon?

Although dehydrated bacon cubes were still offered on missions throughout the 1990s, Teitel reports that a meal plan from 2002 offered  NO BACON, and that astronauts on the ISS today have to make due with dehydrated sausage patties. Clearly, something must be done if America plans to continue one of its most noble culinary traditions on our expedition to Mars.

(Popular Science/Vintage Space and Gizmodo, image via Heather Kennedy, NASA)

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