How Do You Get Candy to the Space Station?
One option would be for an astronaut to just bring his or her own candy during the flight up to the International Space Station. The only problem is the mass. How much candy could you bring anyway? If an astronaut is going to be up there for 6 months or more, that is some serious luggage.
The answer to this candy problem is the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). Basically, the ATV is an unmanned resupply vehicle that travels to the ISS.
So, you put your candy on the ATV and send it to the ISS (in cooperation with ESA and NASA, just FYI). Of course getting things into orbit takes energy. If you add more mass to the ATV, it takes more energy. And there is the question: how much energy does it take to get one candy bar into orbit? Actually, we can give the answer in terms of calories since there is food energy stored in the candy bar.
What is the answer? Oh, I’m not going to say. If you want to know, you will have to head over the ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle blog where I have a guest post on just this very subject. Answer included.