Martha Stewart cooking space meals

When a billionaire who keeps company with Martha Stewart goes into space, he can't be expected to eat freeze-dried spaghetti and wash it down with a powdered orange drink.

by: Reuters | 16 Apr 2007

Space Adventures Ltd., the company that will be sending software mogul Charles Simonyi to the International Space Station on April 7, said on Tuesday he will be bringing along a special meal.

The menu was selected by Stewart, the U.S. guru of fine living who has been romantically linked to the Hungarian-born Simonyi, and features quail roasted in Mandarin wine, duck breast with capers, shredded chicken parmentier, apple fondant pieces, rice pudding with candied fruit and semolina cake with dried apricots.

The meal has already been prepared by associates of French chef-restaurateur Alain Ducasse and packed into aluminium containers for the trip. Simonyi will be joined for the special dinner by the Russian cosmonaut and two U.S. astronauts living aboard the space station, as well as the crew of the Soyuz rocket that will ferry him to the station.

"I am really looking forward to sharing this dinner with my crewmates on the station," Simonyi said in a statement.

"Although the food is very good there, it is somewhat basic, and after a couple of weeks, everything starts tasting the same. I am certain a little variation will be surely welcome."

Simonyi, who had a key role in developing Microsoft's Word and Excel programmes, will be the fifth "space tourist" to visit the station as part of a programme by Space Adventures Ltd. Stewart said in January she plans to be in Kazakhstan to watch as a Russian rocket blasts off with Simonyi aboard.

Simonyi paid between $20 million and $25 million for the 10-day stay aboard the space station.

NASA frequently tries to enliven dinners for astronauts. On a shuttle mission last year astronauts were treated to a meal prepared by U.S. television chef Emeril Lagasse.

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