Astronaut Returns from Space, Can’t Eat His First Meal on Earth

Scott Kelly’s traditional Kazakh welcome bread went untouched.

Scott Kelly
Photo: © Bill Ingalls /NASA / Handout

On Tuesday, March 1 at 11:26pm EST, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly touched down on Earth after 340 days in space, a.k.a. 340 days of eating “on-orbit” food: pouches of freeze dried powders that provide the exact nutrients that astronauts need.

After all that time in Space, what was his reentry dish? Kazakh welcome bread, of course. Kelly touched down in eastern Kazakhstan, where unpopulated grasslands make an ideal landing surface. The bread has become a ritual offering for astronauts over the years. The astronauts dip the bread, which symbolizes hospitality, into salt, which symbolizes friendship.

Here’s the bummer: Neither Kelly, nor his Russian co-astronauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, had a single bite of the bread. After almost a year of weightlessness, the otoliths in their inner ears were making them extremely motion sick. Hopefully, once their stomaches settled, they went out for burgers.

[h/t Quartz]

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