[iii] In my introductory remarks to the Conference on Nutrition in Space and Related Waste Problems held at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla., in 1964, I noted that "the support of man in any alien environment for a long period depends on the solution of multitudinous problems, both physical and psychological. " During the intervening years much progress has been made in the manned space program and we have witnessed a manned lunar landing as well as other major accomplishments. However, the nutrition problems of longer manned missions that we discussed in 1964 are, in most instances, still with us today. The way to provide a diet that will maintain the health and well-being of a crewmember on a long space mission while he is being subjected to the stresses of space environment is still not resolved. It is true that advances have been made since 1965, and with proper research great strides will be made in the near future.
It is gratifying to note that several reports have been presented during this meeting of advances and new concepts in space feeding. One advance is the tendency toward use of natural foods that can be eaten in a conventional manner, i. e., with a spoon or fork. lf food has enough cohesiveness it can easily be eaten in a conventional manner under conditions of weightlessness. The avoidance of unnatural or unfamiliar foods will facilitate the elimination of the psychological stress that accompanies the use of such a diet.
Although the Panel on Space Nutrition of the Space Science Board has played only a minor role in the organization of and participation in this conference, it has long followed with keen interest the NASA research program in nutrition. The panel has reviewed the work underway and also looked into special problem areas such as acceptability and palatability of diets. The panel will in the near future reassess the current status of plans for space diets and help identify the research most likely to solve the problems of feeding the astronaut on long space missions.
Although it was not possible for the panel to participate in the opening session, we look forward to the publication of the papers presented at this conference.