Space Kimchi Kimchi_in_space



KAERI concluded an agreement with the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center to develop space food last year. The institute is to sign another agreement with the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) of Russia this August to conduct safety tests for space kimchi. If kimchi successfully goes into space in 2008, there is a good chance it will remain on the outer-space menu for U.S. and Russian astronauts, and before you know it, Korea's national dish will have conquered a new dimension. “

Biotron, a private-sector partner, will conduct experiments with the lactobacillus bacteria found in kimchi.  Lactobacillus, commonly found in fermented foods such as kimchi, is widely known to prevent yeast infections and is also believed to help prevent cancer growth. Results will be compared with controlled experiments on Earth.

Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow in September 2004 and signed an agreement to cooperate on space development, including the plan to put a Korean into space.

The dish will feature on the menu for South Korea's first astronaut, 30-year-old engineer Ko San, during his eight-day stay on the International Space Station.

Mr Ko was chosen for the mission from over 36,000 applicants.

The institute has also developed a range of instant noodles, cinnamon-flavoured tea and organic produce for Mr. Ko.

Following the certification, Korea is the only nation outside Russia and the US to provide food for its astronauts. Currently, there are 157 items certified as space food.   Many Koreans believe in the healthy properties of kimchi. In 2003, consumption rose when rumours spread that it boosted immunity to the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus.

In 2005, scientists said that kimchi may have cured birds infected with Avian Influenza - or bird flu - but this has not been proved.   Mr Ko is scheduled to take-off on a Russian-made Soyuz rocket on 8 April with two Russians.  It is not clear whether he intends to share his special foods with his fellow astronauts on the space station.

First Korean Cosmonaut To Have Kimchi In Space

Food – The first South Korean who will fly to space next year will take and eat kimchi. Goh San, 31, made the spicy revelation during an interview in Moscow with local newspaper Dong-A Ilbo on Monday. Goh said he and two Russian cosmonauts will have sterilized and irradiated version of the traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish aboard their spaceshi
Taken from: AOL Propeller Food –

Kimchi Star Date set for April 2008.  The first kimchi in space when Korea's first astronaut embarks to the final frontier. Technology and ancient recipes will put kimchi (the Korean delicacy) in space.

The space approved Korean foods were one thing but what about the Kimchi !?!?!

"The key was how to make a bacteria-free kimchi while retaining its unique taste, color and texture," said Lee Ju Woon at the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute, who began working on the newfangled kimchi in 2003 with samples provided by his mother.

Ko will host a Korean dinner in the space station on April 12  to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the day the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. The dinner will conclude with Korean ginseng and green tea.

Ko expressed his appreciation for the development of the space mission approved Kimchi:

"This will greatly help my mission. When you're working in space-like conditions and aren't feeling too well, you miss Korean food," Ko, who is training in Russia, said in a statement transmitted through the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, which is overseeing his mission. "Since I
am taking kimchi with me, this will help cultural exchanges in space."

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute led by Dr. Byun Myung-Woo and CJ – domestic food maker are developing the prized kimchi which will make it’s trip into space.
From – Biz/Tech:

“Heating food kills the micro-organisms, but in the case of kimchi, that would produce kimchi stew. To address the problem, KAERI used cobalt-60 gamma rays, which attack and disconnect DNA or enzymes of bacteria and thus prevent them from multiplying. Radiation has been used for various space foods since it was first used to sterilize the ham that went up in Apollo 17 in 1972.
In zero gravity, the air does not move and astronauts cannot smell, so their sense of taste, too, is dramatically reduced. Space kimchi is expected to be of great help in stimulating astronauts¡¯ appetite with its zest and spices. In addition, it is effective in promoting the intestinal functions, which tend to be somewhat sluggish in space, with abundant fiber.

After being irradiated, the kimchi is deprived of all the gas, but the possibility remains that the juice will squirt out when it is opened just as soda does in a low-pressure environment. There would be kimchi juice all over the ship. For that reason, CJ has developed special packaging for space kimchi.

Astronaut Ko San
Space food to be supplied to
Korea's first astronaut Ko San in April.

From top left clockwise: a packaging case, kimchi, instant noodles, a grain bar and sujeonggwa (cinnamon punch) mix. / Courtesy of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute
Since 1961, 34 countries, including Vietnam, Mongolia and Afghanistan, have sent more than 470 astronauts into space, but none of them was Korean.  Following millions of dollars in research, the Korean government has produced a space compatible kimchi.  The manufacturers of the Kimchi, soon to be in orbit, took out full page newspaper ads.  Hoorah!

International scientists are gathering at Seoul National University to exchange to brainstorm ideas for their country’s first astronaut in space. 

Highly anticipated is how space affects kimchi. "We've tried to come up with a subject that was both traditional and original, even to advanced nations," Kevin Rhee, vice president of the local biotechnology startup Biotron, said Thursday (June 15).

Kimchi in space kimchi space food
Astronaut Ko San Kimchi In Space
Astronaut Kimchi in space
Kimchi is teeming with lactic acid bacteria instrumental in the fermentation process.  Kimchi never having been in space, might have the lactic acid bacteria "mutate" if exposed to  cosmic rays.  We simply don't know how a ongoing fermenting food reacts in space. 

"Imagine if a bag of kimchi starts fermenting and bubbling out of  control and bursts all over the sensitive equipment of the spaceship,"  Lee said.

Lee's team developed a space safe Kimchi which retains 90% of the flavor.  Lee's space kimchi comes in cans, whereas the Korea Food Research Institute's version, developed by
Kim's team using a different technology to control the fermentation
process, comes in a plastic package.
South Koreans consume 1.6 million tons of kimchi a year with all meals.  In some areas, villagers still join to make kimchi each fall and store it in abover or underground jars to last throughout the winter.  Today, most housewives buy kimchi in stores and keep it in an electronic "kimchi refrigerator."

In 1967, President Park Chung Hee of South Korea sent a letter telling President Lyndon Johnson that South Korean soldiers fighting in Vietnam were miserable, missing kimchi. To make the point, Park's deputy, Prime Minister Chung Il Kwon, told Johnson during a visit to the White House that when he traveled overseas, he longed for kimchi more than his wife.
After the Americans agreed to finance the delivery of canned kimchi, Assistant Secretary of State William Bundy reportedly quipped - somewhat wishfully - that the Vietcong "would never be able to hold the Koreans once it arrived."
Love That
A Site dedicated to Kimchi and Korean cuisine
Television story on Kimchi in space and it's preparation.
The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute said it recently received certificates from the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation for four types of food.   Astronaut, Ko San, will eat kimchi, bean soup, rice and instant noodles as main dishes. Ko San will also be able to enjoy ginseng tea or sujeonggwa (cinnamon punch).