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Watch an astronaut make a PB&J sandwich that's out of this world

In zero gravity, pulling off a simple sandwich is not so easy.
/ Source: TODAY

Astronauts can't live on freeze-dried ice cream alone.

They eat other stuff, too, like peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, as a new video from NASA hilariously demonstrates.

You'll quickly note, though, this isn't your standard PB&J on white or wheat: In space, they opt for tortillas over bread, as Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough explained.

Bread is a big no-no in space: Not only does it go stale quickly, but in zero gravity, those crumbs can fly around and potentially wreak havoc on equipment. (Back in the 1990s, Taco Bell actually had a hand in developing tortillas with a longer-than-normal shelf life, now used by NASA, after Mexican scientist Rodolfo Neri Vela successfully brought tortillas on a 1985 mission.)

NASA astronaut making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in space

While throwing together a PB&J on Earth is one of the easiest meals you can possibly pull off, the process is also a little more complicated up there.

"Everything will float around if you don't manage it," Kimbrough said, so there's tape and Velcro involved to keep all the ingredients from floating away.

He literally tapes down the tortilla while he opens the jars, and even the lids have Velcro on them so that he can set them down without worrying that they'll be sucked into the air-conditioning system. (We kind of love the bottle of Sriracha that's fastened to the table in the corner, by the way.)

Once he spreads the peanut butter on (good call putting that on first), he lets the tortilla float around a bit before snatching it back down to add the jelly, which mercifully comes in a squeeze tube. Then, he rolls it up, and there you have it.

"There's a lot of things you have to think about and manage," he said, "while you're eating up here."

Interested in learning how people make it to space? Three space fliers are showing what it takes to be an astronaut.