The present conference is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Academy of Sciences, and the University of South Florida. As Director of Space Medicine for NASA, my primary concern is with man as he works in space today and in the near future. We work directly with the space crews, and we address ourselves to the program from that standpoint.
It certainly is evident from history that man can and will endure great discomfort in order to explore. Despite some opposite views, I think man will continue to explore. I am not perturbed by those who say we should "put man down," so to speak, and fly only unmanned operations, because I think man will not tolerate this. A man traveling in space needs only to be provided with a few necessities. His desire to explore and to learn furnishes his motivation. Man needs a habitable environment and that involves a great many factors. He needs a machine that he can effectively operate to reach his destination while performing his duties, and he needs provision for certain necessities of life such as food, water, and waste disposal.
Since the history of food in space is well known to all of you, I shall not present a detailed account, but rather the following brief comments. In Mercury and Gemini there were really no great problems or dissatisfaction with the food. I suspect this was true because the entire project was so new. We have encountered problems in Apollo, and I think it is not particularly strange that we have. The crews of Apollo 7, 8, and 9 have complained about the food, and this is understandable. Even though their food was essentially the same as the Gemini food (or was in Apollo 7), Wally Shirra and his crew stated rather vociferously that it wasn't any good, that they traded around, that they sampled all the packages, and that they did not eat at all. Certain improvements were made in Apollo 8 by giving the crew the so-called "wetpack, " which they liked except for the potatoes; but the astronauts (Borman, Lovell, and Anders) said that even though they had flown for 14 days in Gemini and didn't mind it so much, they did mind it in Apollo. Similar reactions occurred in Apollo 9.
I think we have a reasonably good appraisal of nutritional requirements, although perhaps this is not yet a permanent standard, and I think we know the method of providing the essentials of a diet, at least for flights up to 20, 60, or 90 days' duration. The problem seems to consist of finding a way to influence the crews to eat the food that is provided. It must be made palatable, and, in addition, worthwhile.
 The present method of space feeding seems to be satisfactory for the near future; at least it will sustain life. I believe, however, that we shall not be limited to compressed food, dehydrated food, etc. forever. We shall certainly be using larger volumes of food in the future. There is always the possibility of assembling spacecraft for long voyages off the Earth, in orbit, or even farther away and on these voyages there will also be different environments. Cooking with an electric stove today is impossible because of the gaseous environment of the spacecraft, but that may not always be the case. Zero G may or may not be continued, and I suspect that in the long run it will not. These different environments will give us opportunities to use techniques different from those employed today. We shall still have a preparation problem, but I believe that the preparation time previously criticized by the crews will not be so important as the crew numbers become larger and the voyages become longer.
The Apollo crews are very busy, but I believe that this is only temporary. Certainly, when crews reach a large size, food-service people will be required. We shall still have, however, a food preparation problem, and we shall still have a storage problem or a production problem. I think it is essential that we gain the attention of the entire community - academic, industrial, and governmental - and keep attention focused on this mundane subject of feeding. Development of subsystems involving food, water, and waste management has not kept pace with building of boosters and other sophisticated systems. We must demand adequate attention to these subsystems.
The Apollo Applications Program (AAP) embodies an entirely new concept. It is the beginning, the embryonic move or step, toward true understanding of man and his reactions in space. In Mercury, the objective was to project man into space and return him safely. In Gemini, it was to determine whether man could maneuver and work in space. Apollo has had only the objective of flying man to the Moon and bringing him back safely with some lunar samples. We have not yet had an opportunity to begin to study man in flight, but the whole AAP program is the beginning of a new era - one, if you like, of orbiting laboratories or orbiting observatories. It will be much more difficult and much more complex to produce a feeding system which answers the requirements of experimental protocols and also is compatible with the spacecraft environment and is within the state of the art.
Certain tradeoffs will be necessary. There are a great many medical, biological, and behavioral components involved in the AAP, habitability being one of them. We want to know the factors that can make man's life a little more pleasant and make man more effective in the space environment. Up to now, he figuratively has been flying around in the rumble seat of a Model T Ford (a Model A in Apollo), but the time to improve his situation has come. We cannot do this logically until we understand more about him and his reactions.
I would like to restress the point that the food system is not a system that can be considered alone. For example, the food system has a very close interface, and  is dependent to a large extent, upon the water system. In Apollo, we have fuel cells which produce water and an excess of hydrogen gas; as a result, we have had a large amount of gas coming out of the water gun. In Apollo 9, the water gun produced about 60 percent gas and 40 percent water, which meant that the crew filled their food bag with gas. When they began to hydrate their food they encountered a great many bubbles, and they swung their bags around in order to try to eliminate some bubbles. This method did not work at all well - the result was large gas bubbles in place of small ones. This is only one of the many problems encountered. If one system is not functioning properly, another one cannot; there is not quite a domino effect, but almost.
The waste management system is also a very important one. The crewmen do not want to defecate because they hate to use the hand-held straddle trench we are supplying, and I do not blame them. This straddle trench is a bag with a sticky rim on top, and it is difficult to place it correctly. The men are loath to use the system, and until the system is improved they are going to continue to be loath to use it. We hope a better system will be on board in the MOL, the AAP, and other future flights.
One item which has not been widely mentioned is that in our system the food discipline of the crewmembers has been poor. I have said this to them, so I will say it in public: Food and water discipline is something that soldiers learn early or they do not survive. The space crews have not been very disciplined about their eating - they have picked, traded, and done as they pleased. That is permissible if no scientific metabolic information is to be obtained but food discipline must be enforced in flight if we are to determine whether a system is good and how it should be changed. It is particularly important in those flights in which we have experimental protocols that must be complied with.
Much has been said about disposal of the wastes - the bags, the excess food, etc. On flights in which we need to know the weight of remaining food, it is important that nothing be discarded. As you well know, so far we have designed all spacecraft and systems so that they will return to Earth everything not consumed in space, with the exception of urine droplets or a little waste water. I question whether it is the intent of the space treaty that we be forced to return to Earth all the trash accumulating on space voyages, and the point is currently under investigation. We have enough trash on Earth; wouldn't it be nice to discard some of it somewhere else!
J. W. Humphreys