The middeck of the orbiter
is equipped with facilities for food stowage, preparation, and dining
for each crew member. The food supply is categorized as either menu
food or pantry food. Menu food consists of three daily meals per
crew member and provides an average energy intake of approximately
2,700 calories per crew member per day. The pantry food is a two-day
contingency food supply that also contains food for snacks and beverages
between meals and for individual menu changes. It provides an average
energy intake of 2,100 calories per crew member per day. The types
of food include fresh, thermostabilized, rehydratable, irradiated,
intermediate-moisture, and natural-form food and beverages.
If a payload is installed in the middeck in lieu of the galley,
the food preparation system is limited. It consists of the water
dispenser, food warmer, food trays and food system accessories.
The water dispenser provides the flight crew with ambient and chilled
water for drinking and reconstituting food. The water dispenser
consists of a housing assembly, rehydration station, hygiene water
quick disconnect and water lines. Two flex lines 10 feet long connect
the housing assembly to the ambient and chilled potable water system.
Both lines have quick disconnects. A 12-foot-long flex line with
a quick disconnect and water-dispensing valve supplies water for
personal hygiene. The water selector valve amb position provides
ambient water to the rehydration station between 65º and 75º F. The
off position prevents water from flowing to the rehydration station
(it does not shut off water flow to the personal hygiene water outlet
quick disconnect). The chd water position provides chilled water
to the rehydration station between 45º and 55º F.
Depressing the hygiene water valve handle allows a constant flow
of ambient water. Releasing the handle prevents water flow. The
locked-open position allows a constant flow of ambient water without
holding the handle.
The rehydration station is an electronic dispensing system that
interfaces directly with food and beverage packages to provide rehydration
capability and drinking water for flight crew members. The system
dispenses 2, 3, 4 and 8 ounces of water through a replaceable needle.
A spare needle is stowed at the rear of the rehydration unit and
another in the in-flight maintenance middeck locker. The needles
are removed and installed with a 3/8-inch open-end wrench. Depressing
the pwr push button at the rehydration station provides power to
the electronic rehydration system and an indicating light is illuminated
within the switch upon activation. Depressing the pwr push button
again deactivates the system. The water quantity rotary switch's
2, 3, 4 and 8 positions provide 2, 3, 4 and 8 ounces of water, respectively.
The needle must be inserted into the package before depressing the
fill push button to prevent free water from being dispensed into
the crew cabin environment. Depressing the fill push button activates
the electronic filling mechanism when the water quantity selection
has been made. A light comes on within the fill switch during filling
and goes out when filling is complete. The operation is automatically
deactivated. The bypass valve provides a continuous flow of water
to the food rehydration unit when the handle is depressed or lifted
to the up locked-open position.
The rehydratable food container is inserted into the rehydration
station, the water dispenser needle penetrates the rubber septum
on the rehydratable container, and the specified amount of water
is discharged into the container. The rehydrated food is mixed and
heated, if required. The rehydrated food container is opened by
grasping the center portion of the lid liner with the fingers, piercing
the liner with a knife or scissors and pulling the liner up to aspirate
air. While grasping the center of the liner, the astronaut swings
container in a gentle forward and backward semicircular motion to
place food contents at the bottom of the container. The inside edge
of the lid liner (three sides) is cut with a knife or scissors to
expose the food.
The rehydratable beverage container is inserted into the rehydration
station, the water dispenser needle penetrates the rubber septum
on the rehydratable container, and the specified amount of water
is discharged into the container. The rehydratable beverage is mixed
and heated, if required. A plastic clip is affixed to the straw
in the closed position, the probe end of the straw is inserted into
the container rubber septum, the straw is placed in the mouth, the
clip is released, and the beverage is drunk. All straws are color-coded
for each crew member.
Food trays are kept in a middeck stowage locker (or in the galley,
if installed) at launch and are removed and installed in the use
locations during preparations for the first meal. The tray is a
clear, anodized aluminum sheet that restrains food and accessories
during dining. The trays are color-coded for each crew member. Velcro
on the bottom of the food trays allows them to be attached to the
front of the middeck lockers (or the galley door, if installed)
for food preparation or dining. The straps will also hold the trays
on the crew member's leg for dining. A cutout on the tray allows
three rehydratable food packages to be secured to the tray. Another
cutout with rubber strips adapts to various-sized food packages,
including cans, pouches and rehydratable food packages. Two magnetic
strips hold eating utensils and two 0.75-inch-wide binder clips
on the tray retain such things as condiment packets and wipes. Accessories
used during food preparation and dining include condiments, gum
and candy, vitamins, wet wipes, dry wipes, drinking containers,
drinking straws, utensils and a re-entry kit that contains salt
tablets and long straws.
Condiments include salt, pepper, taco sauce, hot pepper sauce,
catsup, mayonnaise and mustard. The salt and pepper are liquids
stored in small plastic squeeze bottles. The remaining condiments
are packaged in individual, sealed, flexible plastic pouches. Vitamin
tablets supplement dietary requirements. Wet wipes are packaged
in 21 individual packets per dispenser for cleaning utensils after
dining. A light spring action retains and positions wipes for dispensing.
Empty beverage containers of rigid plastic for drinking and storing
water are carried in crew members' clothing and can be filled at
the water dispenser. Approximately five to 10 different color-coded
straws are provided for each crew member (depending on the flight's
duration) for drinking beverages and water. Additional straws are
kept in the pantry beverages and various menu locker trays. Color-coded
utensils include a knife, two spoons (large and small), a fork and
a can opener for each crew member. They are stowed with a soft plastic
holder that has a Velcro snap cover. Dry wipes are packaged in a
30-wipe container that can be attached to the crew cabin wall with
Velcro for cleanup after dining. The re-entry kit consists of one
package containing eight salt tablets for each crew member and long
straws (four per crew member). Two salt tablets are to be taken
with 8 ounces of water or other beverage by each crew member four
times before entry. The re-entry kit may be stowed in one of three
locations depending on space available-with the accessories, near
the last meal to be consumed on orbit or with the pantry beverages.
The food warmer is a portable heating unit that can warm a meal
for at least four crew members within one hour when the galley is
not flown. It is stowed in a middeck locker at launch and is removed
and installed during meal preparation activity. The food is heated
by thermal conduction on a hot plate (element). The warmer is thermostatically
controlled between 165º and 175º F. The case is constructed of aluminum
with an exterior envelope of 13 by 18 by 6 inches. It has latches
and is lined with clear urethane foam insulation coated with room-temperature
vulcanizing compound. The case has straps for handling and on-orbit
installation. The exterior contains controls and displays, a power
connector that interfaces with the power cable and Velcro attachment.
A hinged element is sandwiched between two aluminum plates and is
contained by a fiberglass frame. The aluminum plates have spring-bungee
restraints for foil-backed food packages on one side. An on/off
switch provides two-phase ac power to the unit and a light indicates
the warmer is operating. The power cable is 156 inches long and
attaches to a middeck ac utility outlet. The cable is stowed inside
the case at launch.
A maximum of 14 packages can be installed on the side of the spring
bungees and eight on the other side. Rehydratable beverages should
be placed on the side opposite the spring bungees, and the foam
on the other side is additionally relieved to prevent the packages
from popping out in zero gravity. When 14 rehydratable packages
are heated, no foil-backed food pouches can be heated. A maximum
of six foil-backed food pouches can be heated in conjunction with
12 rehydratable packages. When foil-backed pouches are heated, only
four rehydratable packages can be heated on the side of the spring
bungees. The foil-backed pouches are stacked three deep. Four rehydratable
packages are inserted in the outer recessed foam cutouts. At the
bottom of the cutouts, 0.5-inch-thick uncoated foam absorbs moisture
or spilled liquids.
The galley is a multipurpose facility that provides a centralized
location for one individual to handle all food preparation activities
for a meal. The galley has facilities for heating food, rehydrating
food and stowing food system accessories and food trays. The galley
consists of a rehydration station, oven, food trays and food system
The oven is divided into two principal compartments-a lower compartment
designed for heating at least 14 rehydratable food containers inserted
on tracks and an upper compartment designed to accept a variety
of food packages, including the rehydratable containers. At least
seven food pouches can be heated in the upper compartment and are
held against the heat sink by four spring-loaded plates. The oven
has a heating range of 145º to 185º F. During launch and entry, the
oven door is held closed by a restraining strap, which is removed
from the door by releasing the snap for on-orbit operations. An
on/off switch enables and removes power to three fans.
The rehydration station dispensing system interfaces directly with
food and beverage packages, providing rehydration capability and
drinking water for crew members. A gauge indicates hot water temperatures
of 100º to 220º F. The volume/ounces switch selects the volume of
water to be dispensed by the rehydration station in 0.5-ounce increments
from 0.5 of an ounce to 8 ounces. The yellow hot push button indicator
allows hot water to be dispensed when it is depressed and is illuminated
when energized. When the selected volume of water has been dispensed,
the push button will begin to flash on and off. The light will be
extinguished when the food package is retracted, releasing the hydration
station lever arm/limit switch. The rehydration station lever arm/limit
switch serves as an interlock so water can be dispensed only when
a food package is connected to the needle. The food package makes
contact with the rehydration station lever, which activates the
limit switch (note that the flight crew does not physically actuate
the lever). The blue cold push button indicator allows cold water
to be dispensed when it is depressed and is illuminated when energized.
When the selected volume of water has been dispensed, the push button
will begin to flash on and off. The light will be extinguished when
the food package is retracted, releasing the rehydration station
lever arm/limit switch.
The galley light is located on the upper left-hand side of the
galley structure surface and has a single light brightness control.
Moving the knob clockwise from off applies power to the light and
provides variable brightness control.
Two condiment dispensers are attached to the galley by Velcro tabs
on the back of the dispensers. The dispensers are available for
holding individual packets, such as catsup, taco sauce, mayonnaise
and mustard, on the front panel below the oven. The dispensers are
open-ended boxes designed to hold the stack of packets together
so they may be individually removed as needed. A slide plate keeps
the packets from becoming loose as the items are depleted.
A single dispenser for holding individual packets of wet wipes
is located on the front panel below the oven and is slightly different
in design than the condiment dispensers.
Dispensers for liquid salt and pepper and vitamins can be restrained
by clips conveniently located below the rehydration station.
Food trays and food system accessories are the same as those used
on flights without the galley.
On the upper left-hand corner of the galley behind a Teflon cloth
panel is an MV3 valve that has emer off and on positions. The on
position serves as the nominal open position of the manual shutoff
valve, and emer off serves as a manual shutoff valve for the ambient
temperature water supply to the galley.
On the upper right-hand corner of the galley behind a Teflon cloth
panel are test connectors, a dc power bus A and B switch and a flush
port quick-disconnect test port. The two test connectors serve as
a hookup for ground support equipment. The dc power bus A switch's
on position activates the galley oven heaters, rehydration station
system and one of six water tank strip heaters; the off position
deactivates the heaters. The dc power bus B switch's on position
activates five of the six galley water tank strip heaters, and the
off position deactivates them. The flush port quick disconnect serves
as the galley water system GSE flush port.
On the lower left-hand side of the galley is an auxiliary port
water quick disconnect that allows the crew members to obtain ambient
potable water when the MV3 valve is off or hygiene water when the
12-foot flex line and water dispensing valve are attached to the
Three one-hour meal periods are scheduled for each day of the mission.
This hour includes actual eating time and the time required to clean
up. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are scheduled as close to the usual
hours as possible. Dinner is scheduled at least two to three hours
before crew members begin preparations for their sleep period.