Six menus comprising vegetarian and non vegetarian Indian food items are being prepared for the crew of the country’s first human spaceflight aboard the Gaganyaan. The crew of the first ever human mission from India will have a large variety of food to choose from which is being prepared by Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) Mysore, a lab under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Confirming this to Financial Express Online, in an exclusive conversation, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy said, “Developing food consumption in zero gravity space is a new and unique challenge, and our scientists are relishing this opportunity.”
“The initial feedback received was incorporated and modified food products are ready for second phase of evaluation,” Dr G Satheesh Reddy added.
According to him, “DFRL has a lot of experience in developing food for extreme conditions. This includes soldiers posted in Siachen glacier, sailors in submarines, and scientists on expeditions to Antarctica etc.”
What is on the menu?
There will be a wide choice for the crew of the first human mission. The six different menus which are expected to include very light items like upma, poha, idli for breakfast; there will be a choice of meat and vegetarian biryani for lunch and for dinner they can choose from chapatis and some gravy with vegetables and meat preparation to choose from.
Will they get dessert and other food items?
Yes. They will get an option of either halwa or any other alternative. There will be a choice for different fruit juices and tea/coffee.
According to reports, the DFRL is expected to treat the food as mildly spicy and in case there is a need to make it spicier there will be sachets to add on.
The first human mission is expected to be of a short flight of a week, therefore the food packages will be semi-hydrated. And the crew will have to add water to the package and warm it up. Due to zero-gravity, there is a fear of water spillage and to control that the water will have to be added in a confined space.
Is there any bread on the menu?
No. as there is a fear of the bread crumbles floating in the space station.
And there will be special straws for enabling the crew to have water or other liquids. And the special straw is being made by the scientists at DFRL.
Has DFRL made food items for space?
Yes. This DRDO lab has the distinction of making special mango bars for the first Indian in space – Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma, who in 1984 was on board Russia’s Soyuz T-11.