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China's astronaut food over the decade: from fast food to customization

(People's Daily Online)

09:21, June 14, 2013

In 2003, China's first manned spacecraft Shenzhou-5 flew into space. Also from that year onwards, China's exploration of astronaut food began to enter the public view.

Over several space journeys during the 10 years, the astronauts' recipe improved its quality, from the original fast food such as dim sum to today's customized choices.

Dessert and coffee
◎ Quantity of food: 30 kinds
◎ Launch time: October 15, 2003

Yang Liwei is China's first astronaut who went into the space, so what food he was carrying is worth exploring. It is reported that he only brought some fast food that neither need heating nor adding water.

During more than 20 hours in the space, Yang Liwei mainly took desserts and coffee. Coated with a protective edible film, the food was convenient and left no crumbs. They will not produce food debris floating in the cabin, and did not require utensils.

It is reported that the snack contained about 20 kinds of raw materials, and the production process was relatively complicated.

Hot meals in space
◎ Quantity of food: 40 to 50 kinds
◎ Launch time : October 12, 2005

Shenzhou-6 crews are luckier when it comes to astronaut food, because they can eat hot meals, and food choices also increased to 40 to 50 kinds.

For staple food, there were four varieties: white rice, eight-treasure rice pudding, curry rice and glutinous rice. Astronauts can choose different food every day, and there was freeze-dried chocolate ice cream, with three kinds of sauce: spicy, sour and sweet.

Drinking water for Shenzhou-6 astronauts was pumped groundwater from more than 1,700 meters underground, and then after silver ion disinfection, and finally canned. It is reported that Shenzhou-6 crew have so many choices , from cans, rehydrated vegetables, dried fruit, pastries, staple food, to beverages, even the kung pao chicken, beef balls, and braised pork in soy sauce were on board.

Read the Chinese version:揭秘中国载人飞船食谱变化,从速食到个性化定制
Source: Beijing Times

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