Japan to deliver food into space

Japanese astronauts KIBO ISS

Up until now, Russia and the United States have been responsible for providing food for the International Space Station (ISS). But in 2009, Japan will be added into the international culinary space kitchen on the ISS.

Welcome to spaceThere are 15 countries represented on the ISS since to project started in 1998. Japan is in charge of building the experiment module named “Kibo” (also called Hope). The astronauts have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack daily. The current menu has a little over two weeks worth of dishes. This has prompted the astronauts to want more of a variety. So the creative Japanese have stepped up to contribute food.

What will the Japanese add? The obvious staples like ramen, curry and rice, and even mackerel cooked in miso are on the lineup. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) wanted to include traditional meals as well as normal household items you would find in Japan. However, this presented a bit of a problem because traditional Japanese food’s preperation can be quite extensive.

JAXA logoFamed ramen company Nissin came to the rescue. With a bit of experimentation, they were able to come up with a “space ramen”. The ramen was made into bit size balls, and then coated with egg white to keep them round even after being rehydrated. This allowed the ramen to stay together in the zero gravity enviorment and not scatter.

Japan is adding around 28 different foods to the ISS menu when they start delivering in 2009. Japanese space food doesn’t come cheap. The prices can range from Â¥1,000 – Â¥4000 ($10-$38) because each item is made to order.

Via Japan Times.

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