OSCEOLA, MO (KCTV) – A Missouri man who whose food was literally out of this world has now taken his own steps into the final frontier.
Dr. Charles Bourland passed away over the weekend at the age of 82. He was instrumental in developing food for the pace program that helped feed NASA astronauts as they landed on the moon.
Bourland made many contributions to science, his hometown of Osceola and his family. He spent more than 30 years developing food for astronauts, and his work took him around the world.
When Bourland started at NASA, astronaut food was like a TV dinner. Then he developed better techniques for preserving food in space, some of which are still in use today.
“Every mission we tried to improve the quality of the food,” he told KCTV5 News earlier this year.
Despite all of his accomplishments and accolades, to his daughter Cindi Bourland Archer, he was just “Dad.”
“He was very humble,” she said. “I was so blessed he was my daddy.”
After Bourland retired, he moved back to his farm near Osceola where he stayed active through volunteer groups. He also frequently spoke at area schools about his experience with the space program and wrote a memoir full of recipes called “The Astronauts Cookbook.”
“It opened up this entire world, and it made it possible for him to give back,” Cindi said. “He was dedicated to that.”
It was clear in talking to him that Bourland loved where science could take humankind, and while his family is mourning the shock of his loss, one thing is for certain, his legacy stretched to the moon and back.