In Space, No One Can Sprinkle Salt

© Art Directors & TRIP / Alamy

By Justine Sterling Posted January 26, 2016

The International Space Station has a simple but smart solution for salt.

In a recent Reddit AMA, astronaut Scott Kelly revealed some fascinating facts about life in the International Space Station. Like how your feet get as soft as a newborn baby’s and how space smells like burning metal. But the most interesting tidbit to us was that astronauts don’t use traditional salt (since any powder could be disastrous for equipment, or could get lodged in an astronaut’s eyes or nose). Instead, astronauts season their food with spritzes of liquid salt. The liquid salt is just a solution of salt in water, but some Redditors made the excellent point that soy sauce could serve the same purpose. Lucky for astronauts, they have that too, in special fish-shaped packets designed not to squirt or leak.

Food in space is notoriously bland due to congestion (nasal fluids shift while in orbit, inhibiting the sense of taste much like a cold does), so condiments like soy sauce and sprayable liquid salt are incredibly important to astronauts. Some of the other Space Station staples include Tabasco sauce, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, sweet and sour sauce, barbecue sauce and, because this is the year 2016, Sriracha.

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