Spice it up in space

South Korea's first astronaut brings Asian cuisine to the final frontier.

by: AFP | 24 Apr 2008

When she docks with the International Space Station, South Korea's first astronaut will bring a spicy Asian food menu that puts earlier space fare to shame.

Cinnamon tea, noodles and pickle dish kimchi – all developed by a Korean institute to be bacteria-free – are among the items Yi will be eating and drinking during her 12-day mission.

Today "we can choose the food that we want," Sergei Volkov, Yi's captain on the Soyuz mission, told reporters at a press conference on the eve of the launch.

Astronauts once complained of going hungry after being forced to suck food paste out of small aluminium tubes. But advances in technology, and the growing number of countries sending their citizens into space, have enriched the space cuisine with new flavours.

Space biscuits take the cake
"I think the Russian food is better but each to his own – it also depends on habits and traditions," says Tatyana Gavruchenko, space food specialist at the Birulevsky research institute.

As he watched a Soyuz rocket being lifted into position in the middle of the arid Kazakh steppe for Yi's launch, former Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov admitted to being a little jealous of the new-fangled space food. Vinogradov, who has spent a total of 380 days in space, mostly in the 1990s said, "We didn't complain then but we always wanted a bit more."

If you could take your favourite food into space what would it be?

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