The First Meal Eaten on the Moon Was Bacon

Bacon has a long history in the American space program

04_08_2014_space bacon.jpg
"Hey Neil I found something!" - Buzz Aldrin, maybe. Totally not photoshopped photo via NASA / Wikimedia Commons

The political, technological and scientific achievement of putting a man on the Moon was a cause for celebration. In this new world now inhabited by Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, everything was a first. Neil had his first step, the first photographs were snapped and, eventually, the pair sat down for their first meal. What does one eat to celebrate something as momentous as landing on the Moon?

Bacon, apparently. This may not have been a deliberate celebratory decision (although there's still debate about which bits of Moon landing lore were pre-planned and which were not). But there was bacon nonetheless, says Amy Shira Teitel for her blog Vintage Space.

[B]acon cubes were among the meals stored in the lunar module. And it worked out that meal A, the first scheduled meal to be eaten on the Moon, consisted of bacon squares, peaches, sugar cookie cubes, pineapple grapefruit drink and coffee. They ate history’s first meal on Moon slightly ahead of schedule after landing at the Sea of Tranquility. 

According to Teitel, bacon has a long history in the American space program, showing up in meals as far back as the early Gemini missions. And from the beginning, it was a popular menu item. So it's easy to imagine that Armstrong and Aldrin enjoyed the dried, salted treat in their first Moon meal.

But in recent years, Teitel says, things have changed at NASA. Though many improvements have been made to spacefarers' food options, there is now one thing that is distinctly missing. Yep, bacon.

[B]acon squares lived on after Apollo. In the 1990s, NASA astronauts also had bacon squares as part of their meal options. A meal plan from 2002, however, had a distinct lack of bacon. Today on the ISS, the closest thing astronauts have is a freeze-dried sausage pattie they rehydrate with hot water.

For shame, America. Do astronauts not deserve bacon?

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