Cafe Conversations | Local Teens Nutrition Bars Orbit The Earth

         Aboard the shuttle Endeavor is an item that was made in West Michigan by some unexpected inventors.  Mikayla and Shannon Diesch are Battle Creek-area sisters on a mission, well it’s actually their nutrition bars that are on the mission.

“Just to think it’s out of this world, that’s incredible,” said Shannon.

“It’s currently orbiting around our heads right now,” said Mikayla.

Mikayla and Shanon

About a year and a half ago a four-student team from the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center, which included the Diesch sisters, Naomi Campbell (not the super model silly)  and Ethan Rutherford, entered a national competition.  We were tasked to design a nutrition bar that fit all the requirements of NASA,” said Mikayla, “so it could serve as a meal supplement.”  “It has to have a certain number of calories and a certain water activity, so it doesn’t fall apart,” said Shannon. “It has to be a certain amount of protein and fat.”

       The bar is a cranberry, apple, cinnamon bar with granola and rice crisp pieces, and it won the contest.  After many further months of hard work, tweaking, tinkering and tasting, NASA agreed to take a serious look at including it in the astronauts’ rations.  “We had to send it down to Johnson Space Center for a bunch of testing on it,” said Mikayla. “I think the testing took two or three weeks.”  Like Tang and freeze-dried ice cream before it, the bar got the go-ahead to become space food.

Shannon and Mikayla also went to the Kennedy Space Center to watch a small batch of their nutrition bars rocket up into the sky.  “We were basically right by the big clock, it was awesome, it went up, it was loud, my feet were shaking,” said Shannon.  “It was really cool, it was very loud,” said Mikayla.

The sisters have been told they’ll get pictures of the astronauts eating their bars, and maybe more.  “They might send one back that we can have signed by all the crew,” said Mikayla, “which would be awesome.”

The two students have been profiled on many networks and I say Bravo!  Yet they were never flown to New York and interviewed on the today show.  ( This only applies to stupid silly pranks I suppose.)  I am very proud of these 2 students.  Not only because they are from Michigan, but because they did not waste their days doing nothing.

I think they are  …AWESOME!

**excerpted from wwmt tv  newschannel 3

A One Way Trip To Mars…..Get On Board

Going to Mars … on a one-way trip


In an artist’s conception, a Mars explorer surveys one of the Red Planet’s grand canyons.

Alan Boyle writes: Will the first explorers to visit Mars come back to Earth? Or does it actually make more sense to leave them there? The idea of sending the Red Planet’s first settlers on one-way trips has been kicking around for years, and now two researchers have published a paper in the Journal of Cosmology laying out how such missions could play out between now and 2035.

“It is important to realize that this is not a ‘suicide mission,'” Washington State University’s Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Arizona State University’s Paul Davies write. “The astronauts would go to Mars with the intention of staying for the rest of their lives, as trailblazers of a permanent human Mars colony.”

I read this article, all the while shaking my head.  Then I proceeded to read the comments, which were colorful.  The 300+ comments were all of the same mindset.  “Where can I sign up”  or “Good bye wife and kids”  “If it doesn’t cost me too much, yeah, I’ll go”.  Are we nuts?  First of all:  Does anyone have a clue what this will cost?   This little “Getaway Trip”  has been whirling around the minds of those rocket scientists even prior to the mid 1990’s.   We have become clueless in this country as to how these programs of study are funded, not to mention the cost of the program.  We just play along and say “Cool! Sign me up”.   Yet we know Kim Kardashian’s booty measurements and we know all about the guy called the “Situation.”   We have become such a silly race of humans.  I can only imagine that if there is life out there….. We would hear much laughter coming our way.