Where in the world is Fishbowl? We have all sorts of clients, from ones who sell high-end medical equipment to ones who track disaster-relief supplies. Clients who produce frozen foods to ones who manufacturer cattle holding pens. Importers, exporters, wholesalers, distributors, repair facilities, universities, governments, military units. The list goes on and on.
But you know what I find REALLY fascinating? Space. Missions to the planets, satellites, telescopes, manned space missions, discoveries about the universe around us. I’ve always had an interest in space, and when the Curiosity rover recently landed on Mars it got me wondering if any of our Fishbowl customers have a direct connection to the rover, or any other space-related mission. So I did a little research and this is what I found.
The Kennedy Space Center uses Fishbowl to track the foods they make for the astronauts on the International Space Station (and previously for the Shuttle missions). I don’t know about you, but when I think of astronaut food I think “mashed broccoli that you squeeze out of a tube” (see image to the left).
Just so we’re clear on what we’re talking about, the second picture is what astronaut food looks like today. NASA uses Fishbowl Inventory to purchase the ingredients, process, package, and ship the foods. Recipes (in Fishbowl-speak, think of a recipe as a Bill of Materials), lot numbers, and expiration dates are all tracked within Fishbowl. NASA produces about 200 different menu items and all the foods are produced at the Kennedy Space Center.
Astronaut Food Trivia
Astronaut food is processed to be spicier than what the astronauts are used to on earth because the zero-gravity of space acts like a low-grade cold to the astronauts, causing the food to taste bland. Most popular food items: Shrimp cocktail and M&Ms (not necessarily at the same time).
ABSL is the world’s premier supplier of primary and secondary Lithium-ion batteries to the space industry. In case you don’t know what a “lithium-ion battery to the space industry” looks like, here you go on the left. Additionally, ABSL Space Products is now the leading supplier of Calibration Systems providing flight hardware for most of the spacecraft instruments operating in space today. In other words, all those satellites looking down at earth’s climate are using ABSL products to ensure the instrumentation is working properly. How cool is that?
So, ARE there any Fishbowl customers that produce products for use on the Curiosity rover? Frankly, I don’t know. But I DID ask ABSL and… they aren’t allowed to tell me. I’m not sure why, but they did say that I could use any information available on their website, so here is my favorite bit of ABSL information (and all-time favorite image):
“Power for Space Rovers”? This could be a statement that their products are currently in use on space rovers or that they COULD be used on space rovers. Either way, this is a fascinating company selling fascinating products.
All the images in this post are the copyright of their respective owners.