Ramen in Space… Again, but Now for Longer

According to one of my favorite space sites, SpaceDaily, Japan is Koichi Wakata, whose a veteran astronaut at the ripe old age of 43, will be the country’s first citizen to stay long-term in space begining in the fall of 2008 a three month stint on the International Space Station (ISS).

On his third mission into space (the first happened in 1996, the second in 2000) Wakata will be spending much of his time running a series of experiments in a small laboratory, Kibo (meaning "Hope"), on the multi-national space station. While excited about the opportunity his trip represents, Wakata is even more excited about bringing his nation’s noodles into space.

"’Since I believe that the chances will increase for Japanese astronauts’ long-term stays, I want to check things out such as the clothing, food and accommodation" for future astronauts,’ [Wakata] said.

‘I especially want to try Japanese foods like delicious ramen,’ he said."

Those tasty noodles, invented by the recently deceased Mr. Noodle (right), were originally flown into space on a 2005 US Discovery flight with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

Oh, and for those keeping count, according to the Wikipedia, currently 14 of the 193 countries on earth have had representatives visit the ISS so far. Looks like we got 179 to go!