Virginia students cook up award-winning 'Three Sisters Stew' astronaut food

The low-sodium soup recipe recently won a national award from NASA
landstown high competes in nasa cooking competition.jpg
Posted at 8:05 PM, May 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-27 20:05:17-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Academic goals are beyond sky-high at Landstown High School.

Students there have been participating in a NASA program called NASA HUNCH where they come up with ideas and products that could be used aboard the International Space Station.

"We are capturing any occupational items for astronauts aboard the international space station to make their lives easier," explained Yolanda Watford Simmons, program manager for NASA HUNCH at Langley Research Center.

A group of Landstown teenagers recently returned from Houston’s Johnson Space Center where NASA scientists judged entries from across the country. They traveled to Texas to present a particular soup that astronauts could prepare aboard the space station.

Landstown culinary students placed first in the contest!

Their soup which is called “Three Sisters Stew” will be processed for spaceflight on an upcoming mission, Simmons confirmed.

The students admitted the first versions were very bland, partly because they were limited on how much sodium the product could contain.

"It was really terrible at first, but over time, we tweaked it," said senior Lancelot Advincula.

They say the name "Three Sisters Stew," comes from a tribute to Native Americans who called corn, beans, and squash "Three Sisters," because they nurture each other when planted together.

Senior Ava Ibanez said, "We used different techniques for all three, and I think it came together perfectly!"

The recipe will be processed for spaceflight, though, no word on when that will happen.

Simmons also told the students on Thursday that they hope to offer the stew at the cafeteria inside Langley Research Center.

The NASA HUNCH program isn't just for cooking entries. Earlier in the school year, NASA engineers visited Landstown to work with students on their designs for a lunar rover collapsible mirror, lunar scooter wheels, and several other devices.

Landstown health and biomedical students presented designs of instruments they say can be 3D printed and sterilized in space.

For more information on the program, click here.


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