Southeast Asia's smelliest fruit: Thailand to send smelly fruit into orbit
Southeast Asia's smelliest fruit Durian will soon reach orbit to test its durability in a project that could see the staple "king of fruits" consumed in zero-gravity conditions.
Thailand is planning to shoot Durian into orbit. "In the future we want astronauts to be able to eat Thai food," said a spokesperson for Thailand's Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA).
"We want to see whether there are any physical changes after it returns to earth, for example it might get smaller, or cracked."
The 'king of fruits' is popular and infamous too for its pungent smell. The fruit has been banned in hotel rooms, elevators and airplane cabins.
As the fruit smells bad, questions are being raised about how it will be received inside such close confines as a spaceship.
The test which has been carried out with an organisation that has yet to be named publicly, will use a dried and vacuum-sealed version of the fruit, which packs much less of an odour.
The fruit will reach the space in July, when packages of durian will be sealed, placed in a box and rocketed into space for five minutes.
The Development Agency is also planning to send Thai rice.
Advances in technology and the growing number of countries sending their citizens into space have enriched astronauts' controlled cuisine with new flavours.
Asia is catching up with more established space programs, and with that the menus are also diversifying.
The pickled dish kimchi boldly went where few fermented vegetables have gone before when a South Korean astronaut brought it with her in 2008.
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