Japanese teens go above and beyond with space-bound canned fish

Canned mackerel is a popular option in many Japanese kitchens, but now a group of ambitious high school students in central Japan has worked to see the local staple serve a much more high-profile palate when it is served on the International Space Station.

Wakasa Senior High School in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, has studied the development of space food since 2006. Recently, its canned mackerel was officially certified by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency as one of 33 items to be included in Japanese astronauts’ menus while in orbit.

[Photo courtesy of Wakasa Senior High School]

The students said they tested four different levels of seasoning to come up with the best-tasting mackerel, picking a stronger flavor to make up for astronauts’ dulled taste buds. They also created a starchy sauce to go with the locally cultivated fish to lessen the chance of fishy, zero-gravity spills.

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, who visited the school earlier this week to present a certificate from JAXA, said he has great respect for the students’ efforts. He said it is incredible for astronauts to be able to eat something produced by high school students.

JAXA says the addition to humanity’s most exclusive pantry may possibly be made around late 2019, giving Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi a taste of home on his mission to the ISS.

[Photo courtesy of Wakasa Senior High School]

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All — Kyodo News+

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