BENGALURU: From dal, aloo parathas, chicken curry, pulao and almonds, the spread will be elaborate for Indian astronauts likely to journey into outer space as part of ‘Gaganyaan’ late next year or early 2022, but match stringent quality control standards on par with that of US-NASA.
The Indian astronauts will savour desi menu with a spread of 22 dishes and fruit juices — in all weighing 60 kg and 100 litres of water— provided by Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Mysuru, instead of pasta and pizza. The spread has been chosen to suit the palates of Indian astronauts during their week-long sojourn in the outer space.
“We have sent samples (of all dishes and other eatables) to ISRO for tests with regard to palatability and other factors like zero microbes. Some of them will be tasted by IAF pilots short-listed by ISRO for the space flight, and the flavour will be modified to suit their taste buds,” Dr Anil Dutt Semwal, Director, DFRL, told Deccan Chronicle on the sidelines of the 107th edition of Indian Science Congress in Bangaluru on Friday.
He said food will be wrapped in disposable special packaging material to avoid microbes from entering the pouches but these eatables could be warmed using food warmers on board the spacecraft by the crew members. “Every dish will be mildly spicy but we will provide extra taste makers if the astronauts want to eat highly spiced food,” he added.
Dr Semwal said nutrition bars, fruit juice powder, almonds and nuts will also form part of the food package for Indian astronauts so that they could snack during breaks through the day
Asked why the lab followed standards set by NASA, and not Russia, where four pilots short-listed for the journey will be trained, he said the US space agency followed extremely stringent quality control standards....