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Silkworm Space Cookies Add Flavour To Diet

Silkwork coccoons.
by Staff Writers
Beijing, China (XNA) Jul 24, 2006
A newly developed space cookie made of silkworm pupa powder is set to add more taste to astronauts' diet. Masamichi Yamashita, a JAXA researcher, released a recipe for the pupa cookies during the 36th scientific assembly of the Committee on Space Research.

The recipe comprises three to six grams of silkworm pupa powder, 200 grams of rice powder, 50 grams of soy powder and 300 cubic centimeters of soymilk, as well as soy sauce and salt.

All of the ingredients will be available in space, because soybeans and wheat have been grown successfully in simulated space chambers and methods of raising silkworms in space are under development, Yamashita said.

Astronauts could blend these materials with water and divide the mixture into small pieces. "They will be flavoring some cookies after being fried for 15 minutes in a 600-watt inductive heating machine," Naomi Katayama, a renowned Japanese nutritionist and member of Yamashita's group, told Xinhua.

Pupas are first pan fried, seasoned with soy sauce to mask its fishy smell and then ground to powder, Katayama said, adding that cooked pupa will taste almost the same as shrimp or crab.

Yamashita has suggested a transparent greenhouse be built on Mars to grow mulberry for silkworms, as well as other plants such as wheat, soybeans and potatoes.

Yang Yunan, a researcher with the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said the silkworm might become a regular dish of Chinese astronauts because it is rich in protein, easy to raise and produces little waste water.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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First Chinese Taikonaut Talks About Eight Years In Training
Beijing, China (XNA) Jul 24, 2006
China's first spaceman Yang Liwei has recounted many new stories about his eight years of astronaut training. "Each astronaut training facility is equipped with an alarm," Yang told a group of youth assembled at the ongoing 36th Committee on Space Research Scientific Assembly. "If the trainee feels uncomfortable, he can just press the stop button. However, since our Chinese astronaut brigade was established in 1998, no one has ever used the function."

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