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Bravo’s “Top Chefs” dish for the astronauts & NASA’s “Fly Your Face in Space” offer

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NASA challenged the pros on the reality show “Top Chef” to come up with a tasty dish that could be freeze-dried and sent into space for the astronauts to enjoy. The popular Bravo TV show  “Cheftestants” for this seventh season took up the challenge in the Wednesday, September first episode.

Angelo Sosa won the cook-off with his ginger lacquered short ribs with pea puree, pickled mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche. In a news feature on the NASA website, officials explained why they consider food a top priority in the space program: “Crew members continually say that when they’re in such an unfamiliar environment so far away, food is one of the main things that reminds them of home.”

Following nutritional guidelines set up by NASA scientists, the menu for the space crews has 180 food and beverage items including beef tips with mushrooms, chicken fajitas, shrimp cocktails, coffee, orange juice and lemonade.

The NASA cooks will soon be whipping up Sosa’s dish and adding it to that menu. Oh, for winning the challenge Sosa gets a brand new Toyota Avalon and a chance to attend one of the final two space launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the last voyage of the Space Shuttle Discovery set for November first, 2010. A few months later, the final flight of Endeavour on February 26, 2011.

NASA is offering the public some opportunities to take part in these historic space missions. One is the “Fly Your Face in Space” or you can send just your name into orbit program. Check out the details here. The second, is a chance to either vote on or submit a tune as a wake song for the astronauts on the final missions. For contest information  click over to the really cool  NASA Space Rock website.

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