Fri, Feb 15, 2008
Kimchi On Menu For Upcoming ISS Flight
Ko San is a 30-year-old computer science engineer, who's
expected to become the first South Korean in space. He's scheduled
to ride a Russian rocket to the International Space Station in
April. It turns out his trip will also mark a second historic event
-- he'll be bringing the first Korean food into space.
CNN quotes the Yonhap news agency in reporting that fresh and
cooked kimchi has been approved by Russian space officials for the
ISS menu. The popular Korean side dish -- made from a variety of
pickled vegetables -- will be accompanied by spicy chili paste,
rice, bean paste soup, instant noodles, sweet cinnamon punch,
ginseng teas and a mixed grain and vegetable bar.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute and Korea Food Research
Institute reportedly spent two years researching preparation of the
foods for space, to eliminate the presence of lactic acid bacteria
-- which scientists feared could become virulent in space.
"The lactic acid bacterium in kimchi is a useful microbe
normally, but it could threaten astronauts' health in space so that
kimchi must be provided in a germ-free state," said one KARI
scientist to Agence-France Presse.
This will be the first time the space station's menu has strayed
beyond American and Russian cuisine... but it may not be the last
time kimchi shows up on an orbital menu, as the low-bacteria
fermented dish reportedly has "excellent" preservation
Yum... but we advise the ISS crew to be careful in indulging.
After all, those station windows don't open...
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