Angelo is working on glazing his short ribs. He explains that he reduced the sauce a lot, but then he worried that it was too sweet, which was one of the things they warned them about for freeze-drying purposes. Ed goes to sear his rack of lamb, and he decides to leave a lot of the fat on top. Didn't he get dinged for that in another challenge? When he left the fat on and didn't let it render out? That's risky. Kelly points out that plating will be a hassle because they just don't have the room to set out all of their plates and then put the components on each like they usually do. I kind of hate when they make a big deal about something, like how small the kitchen is, and then it doesn't end up affecting the end result. Don't get me all tense that someone is going to knock something over or whatever and then it doesn't happen! What a bunch of teases.
The judges and astronauts and scientists walk into the dining area and sit down. I notice that Buzz Aldrin pulls out Padma's chair for her. No one pulls out Vicki the Food Scientist's chair. Sigh. Poor thing. Tom asks Buzz Aldrin how it felt to walk on the moon. What does he think he's going to say? Dumb question.
Kelly is serving first, and she's intimidated slightly by the lineup, which includes the aforementioned Buzz Aldrin as well as Anthony Bourdain. What? Where did he come from? How was this not mentioned before? Suddenly, he's just at the table. Weird. Anyway, the other people at the table are a couple of astronauts and Vicki, as well as the judges.
Kelly serves pan-roasted halibut with artichoke and fennel barigoule and a salsa verde salad. It's a pretty big piece of halibut, given that they were told to cook everything in small pieces. Tom thinks the fish is cooked well. Vicki points out that it would be tough to freeze dry all the "extraneous fluid." I'm sure Kelly enjoyed hearing her sauced called "extraneous." One of the astronauts says that they miss having anything crunchy in space, so the artichokes would be a nice touch. Wouldn't it have been cool (if logistically difficult) to have the judges eat the regular dish, then have it freeze dried and reconstituted and they try that too? It seems like it would be a better test. I don't know how they would do it, but it would be cool.
Ed is the next to serve, and his dish is yogurt-marinated rack of lamb with eggplant puree and couscous croquette with hummus. Ripert immediately asks what the astronauts would do with the bone, and the astronaut says that people don't think about trash in space, but it's a problem. Ripert thinks that the dish is too complicated and has too many components, but Bourdain counters that he thinks that Ed nailed the Moroccan flavors. And he calls Ripert "the Ripper," which is awesome.