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Expedition 22: Space Sushi

December 20, 2009

Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will be sent into space on Sunday with a load of raw seafood.

Noguchi will take off from the Baikonur cosmodrome with Russia’s Oleg Kotov and NASA’s Timothy Creamer.

“We had training in Japan and I trained (my space colleagues) to be sushi lovers, so I am going to make a couple of flavors of sushi,” Noguchi told a press conference ahead of Sunday’s launch of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

“…Some sashimi, and raw fish and sushi and I will bring that up to the space station to share with my crew,” he says.

Earlier in the month, Creamer told reporters, “We can’t wait for when Soichi makes us sushi!” For Creamer, a US Army colonel and NASA engineer, this mission will be his first flight to space.

Typical food served on the space station includes mushroom soup, macaroni and cheese, or chicken and rice. Some of the Russian cuisine includes tinned perch, curds with nuts, and beetroot soup (borscht) sucked through a straw from a plastic bag.

The crew will blast-off in a Soyuz spacecraft, one of a series of Russian-designed vessels originally introduced in the 1960′s as part of the Soviet Manned Lunar program.  Though the astronauts will have to pack themselves like sardines into the infamously cramped space capsule, they say 40-year-old design has stood the test of time and proven itself dependable.

“The Soyuz is a very reliable and time-tested space shuttle,” said Noguchi to the RIA-Novisti news agency.

“I really like its design and I am sure that our flight on it will be without incident.”

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