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SCI/TECH: Food Running Low Aboard Space Station

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posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 04:02 AM
Faced with a food shortage, astronauts aboard the International Space Station, have been ordered to reduce their caloric intake. This is hoped to tide the men over until a Russian resupply, ship arrives in 2 weeks. If anything goes wrong with the scheduled Christmas Day delivery, the men would
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Food is running so low aboard the international space station that the two crewmen have been instructed to cut back on calories, at least until a Russian supply ship arrives in a little over two weeks, NASA said Thursday.

If anything goes wrong with the Christmas Day delivery, the space agency will have no choice, given the grounding of its shuttle fleet, but to abandon the station and bring the men home in early January.

This cargo ship "is very critical, there's no question about that," said NASA's space station program manager, Bill Gerstenmaier. Supply runs to the space station have been conducted exclusively by the Russians ever since last year's Columbia disaster.

Gerstenmaier estimated there is enough food to last seven to 14 days beyond Christmas Day, after which there will be nothing left if the supply ship does not arrive.

The food supply has never gotten this low before, and no mandatory dieting has ever been in effect before in the four years that the station has been permanently occupied.

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Since the shuttle has been grounded, the ISS is dependant exclusively on Soviet built ships for resupply and crew changes. The changes though amount to 300 calories a day and the men have kept up a vigorous exercise schedule. The Progress flights can only carry a third of what a normal shuttle carries so supplies have been tight since the shuttle went down.

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