Tales of Future Past
So what the heck happened? Technology, That's what. When you have rockets that fire payloads into orbit at caviar prices, you have to save money. That means relying on automation, and by the time everyone got around to taking space stations seriously, the Americans had become very good at automation. Almost everything that Von Braun mentioned as a reason for building a station was now being done by machine better and more cheaply than a man in a spacesuit ever could. That left only one major area: the study of man in space. Okay, so we're studying man in space. Right. Why? Because we need people in space. Why? To study them. My brain hurts.
The next step in food science? It may be "Micro-M.R.E.'s," meal tablets with enough calories to sustain a soldier in the battlefield for 24 hours. According to Air Force 2025, a study of future military concepts conducted by the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, M.R.E.'s are being developed.
Also in the works: transdermal patches that will allow soldiers to feed themselves through their skin. The "transdermal nutrient delivery system" is currently being studied by the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Program.