Moscow (UPI) Dec 20, 2004
International Space Station mission controllers have cut the astronauts' food ration in half, Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov told a local newspaper.
Sharipov told Kyrgyzstan's Vecherniy Bishkek newspaper he and NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao currently do not have bread, meat or main courses. Instead, they eat soups, kashas and sweets. Kasha is a soft food prepared from hulled and crushed grain.
The reason, Sharipov said, was the previous crew -- Russia's Air Force Col. Gennady Padalka and NASA astronaut Mike Fincke -- had eaten more food than planned. As a result, the current mission might have to be cut short, he added.
If for some reason the next resupply mission - Progress M-51 - does not bring the food containers to the station Dec. 26, the crew members will be evacuated Dec. 30, Russian media reported earlier this month.
Food on board was supposed to last the crew until mid-January, dieticians from Moscow's Institute of Biomedical Problems and specialists from the Russian Mission Control Center told the Itar-Tass news agency.