2008/02/19

Kimchi in Space

By JULIETTE ROSSANT

Kimchi, courtesy of Just Hungry
The space pantry just went ethnic. Korean's first space man, astronaut Ko San is going up to the International Space Station on April 8 with some of the comforts of home. The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) said Tuesday that it recently received certificates from the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation for four types of food. The Korea Food Research Institute is also developing six other menu items for the space trip, according to The Korea Times.

Ko San, Korean astronaut
The astronaut, Ko San, will eat kimchi, bean soup, rice and instant noodles as main dishes. He will have ginseng tea or sujeonggwa (cinnamon, ginger and persimmon punch) to drink. The 10 foods and beverages were developed after two years of research by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and the Korea Food Research Institute in cooperation with local food processing companies.

The trick was the kimchi, which on earth has live fermenting bacteria in it. Initially the kimchi was going to be packed in plastic, but it was feared that it would continue to ferment and plastic pouches might explode. No one know yet what happens to anaerobic bacteria in space. The Koreans will be irradiating the kimchi and packing in in metal cans to assure that it is quite harmless.

What about a little Korean barbecue?

Related articles:
Korea Times
Korea.net

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