In honor of the launch of Artemis, NASA engineers are preparing a feast with 200 liters of beans

The launch of the Artemis mission has been postponed for three months in a row. The last postponement happened last week, when a hurricane forced NASA to move the launch window to November 16. The agency is confident that the launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) mega rocket will most likely take place, and engineers are eagerly preparing to celebrate this event with a feast with beans.

Beans in tomato sauce with corn bread is a traditional NASA dish that is consumed after successful launches. Photo: Unsplash

The first postponement of the launch on September 3, 2022, slightly confused Twitter users when they read a comment on the postponement from the former manager of the Space Shuttle program: “Well, no beans today.” So what does beans have to do with it?

Important culinary custom

For many years, traditional American homemade food – beans in tomato sauce – has been a real incentive for the NASA team to celebrate significant events with the launch of rockets. Serving a hearty bowl of beans after a successful rocket launch has become a tradition at Cape Canaveral, Florida, since STS-1 – the first Space Shuttle flight in April 1981.

NASA’s chief test Director Norm Carlson started the tradition of beans and cornbread after successful launches. Authorship: NASA

The ritual began with the head of NASA tests, Norm Carlson, in 1981, who brought a small bowl of freshly cooked beans for his employees immediately after the launch of a space mission. Since that time, it has become an important custom of the space agency. And why beans? Because with beans, everyone gets a chance to “start their engines”. 

200 liters of “fuel”

Subsequently, the catering team of the space agency took responsibility for the preparation of beans. Crowds of workers gathered after each launch of the Space Shuttle, extracting hundreds of bowls from boiling plates with a volume of 200 liters. According to a recipe released by the space agency, boiling Carlson beans will take about eight hours. 

It should be noted that the beans are cooked long before the start. Jeremy Parsons, deputy head of ground reconnaissance systems, told reporters the day before the second launch attempt that beans and cornbread would be part of the post-Artemis launch party. Therefore, we can only guess how many boiled beans were spoiled due to the postponement of the SLS launches.

Earlier, we reported on how Airbus published a stunning picture of the NASA SLS mega rocket before the flight.

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