Lufthansa passengers will get a taste of space travel on some long-haul flights as the German carrier offers food developed for astronauts on the International Space Station as part of its business class menu.
The chicken ragout with mushrooms is one of the options developed by LSG Group, Lufthansa caterer, for European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and his crew.
it is available on long-haul flights departing Germany in July and August.
Gerst, a geophysicist and the space station’s first German commander, started the “Horizons’ mission June 6 and was supplied with “bonus” meals developed by LSG in consultation with the space agency.
The meals are in addition to the usual fare of the ISS crew will be consumed on special occasions to foster team spirit and motivate them during their six-month stay aboard the station.
LSG had to consider the particular requirements of food meant to be consumed in zero gravity and developed six special meals requested by Gertz.
They included typical dishes from the astronaut’s home region, Swabia, such as Maultaschen and Spätzle, and his preferred international dishes, such as Chicken Ragout with Mushrooms.
“In order to ensure that the meals fulfilled the specific health and safety requirements of the mission, the LSG Group team needed to design them to be low sodium and able to maintain a shelf life of two years,’’ Lufthansa said.
The latest mission is conducting research into areas ranging from cancer, the immune system, robotics and quantum physics.
A new member of the crew is CIMON “the flying brain”, a medicine ball-sized intelligent assistant developed by European aerospace giant Airbus and IBM.
CIMON uses IBM’s Watson AI artificial intelligence technology and was constructed using 3-D printing.
The smiley-faced robot will help astronauts perform routine work and use its cloud-based AI technology to suggest solutions to problems.
It will have the ability to learn and a face and voice that will allow astronauts to engage with it beyond routine checklists and procedures.