Cucumbers may be out of favor across Europe in the wake of an E.coli breakout, but a Japanese astronaut plans to harvest the vegetable on board the International Space Station, reports the Daily Mail.
Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Nasa astronaut Michael Fossum are on a six month mission, and one of their goals is to grow cucumbers as part of ongoing studies on how future space explorers will be able to harvest their own food.
Mindful of their own health ahead of their mission, the astronauts remained in strict isolation at the Russia-leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan to avoid exposure to infection.
Fossum, has been closely involved with the design and assembly of the International Space Station over its brief history. “I helped design the space station, I helped build it on two assembly flights, and now, to have the opportunity to live there is just amazing," he said.
Japan has led the way in trying to raise culinary standards in space. Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, even made his own sushi while on the space station last year.
Volkov said the Russian segment will be planting tomatoes and joked that he hoped astronauts might be granted permission to prepare a salad. “'To be honest, what I would really like is fried potatoes,' he joked.
Hmmm, perhaps the Idaho Potato Commission will lend a hand.