Vegetarian Living

30,000 Vegan Astronauts

Lockeed Martin senior research scientist, Maya Cooper, shows a vegan pizza developed at NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Project at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Lockeed Martin senior research scientist, Maya Cooper, shows a vegan pizza developed at NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Project at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

We’ve recently written about NASA’s planned mission to Mars and how they determined that only a vegan diet is sustainable for the long trip there and back. NASA still faces several hurdles in its quest to launch a human mission to Mars by the 2030s, officials said this month, but progress is being made especially when it comes to designing and implementing a vegan diet for all the astronauts to follow there and back, the latest addition to the extra-terrestrial fare being a vegan pizza seen here.

Now a new non-governmental organization has joined the manned mission to Mars craze, the Mars One project. This new endeavor plans to get to Mars 10 years earlier than NASA. However, just like NASA, Mars One has determined that only a vegan diet is even close to sustainable on the interplanetary mission. Despite tremendous hurdles and unknowns, more than 30,000 Americans have already paid the $38 fee to apply for one of 40 spots to become the first vegan astronauts.

Astronauts will grow their own food, both during the trip to the red planet and once settled. Mars One will make use of high efficiency plant-growing methods that require much less space. Food production will be hydroponic, eliminating the need for soil. Food production will happen indoor, lighted by LED lighting. By providing the plants with only the frequencies of light that they use most efficiently, power consumption is limited. Some of the plants will be grown in multiple levels on top of each other, limiting space requirements. There will be sufficient plant production capacity to feed about three crews of four. The surplus will be stored as emergency rations and for other contingencies. Non-edible parts of the plants will be recycled, or will be stored until more advanced recycling equipment is shipped from Earth.

The race between the two vegan missions is on! We can only hope that the wisdom shown by the space scientists for the sustainability of the mission, and the health of those who inhabit the space capsule and colony, will be shown right here on spaceship Earth! Of course, you don’t have to be an astronaut to enjoy dairy-free pizza. Just try one of the delicious veg-pizzas, such as the one made by Tofurky, at your local natural food store, or at Vegfest!

About Vegetarians of Washington

Vegetarians of Washington is a large non-profit vegetarian society based in Seattle, WA. We encourage people to discover the advantages and experience the pleasures of vegetarian food. We welcome everyone, whether you're an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. You don't have to be a vegetarian to join our organization, or to follow our blog! We run the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Seattle's Vegfest, held in the Seattle Center in March each year. We also host monthly dining events and give free nutrition and cooking classes. We've written several nationally published books, including our latest book "In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-based shopping guide", which provides valuable information on what to buy and how to choose great food. Our other books include "Say No to Meat" which gives the information and real-world advice that new vegetarians need the most, in an easy question-and-answer style, the fact-filled "The Vegetarian Solution", and a wide range of delicious recipes in "The Veg-Feasting Cookbook". All our books are available in local bookstores, and via our website or


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