UFO yakisoba noodles also to be sent to International Space Station.

Instant ramen is a well-known ally of students and bachelors, but it’s also pretty popular with travelers in Japan. Since it has a long shelf life and it’s easy to prepare, it’s not uncommon for a dinner away from home to be a cup of instant noodles in a hotel room, especially if you’re staying in a remote location without a lot of local dining options.

And since you can’t get much farther away from the restaurant rows of the big city than outer space, Nissin is now producing multiple types of space ramen, so that astronauts can enjoy the familiar and comforting flavor as they orbit Earth.

Naturally, the company’s flagship foodstuff, Cup Noodle, is accounted for, in a variant now known as Space Cup Noodle, which features dried shrimp, ground pork, scrambled egg, and green onion, just like the terrestrial Cup Noodle you can get at the grocery store (and also the terrifying Cup Noodle ice cream that we keep trying to scrub from our memory).

However, the starches of Space Cup Noodle’s noodles are specially formulated so that they’ll reconstitute with 70-degree Celsius (158-degree Fahrenheit) water, the temperature readily supplied to astronauts on the International Space Station, as opposed to the boiling 100-degree Celsius water that normal Cup Noodle requires. The noodles are also thicker and the broth more viscous, to prevent them from swirling around and causing problems in the ISS’s microgravity environment.

▼ There are also Space versions of Cup Noodle Seafood and Cup Noodle Curry

But while space ramen is definitely a futuristic concept, Nissin isn’t forgetting its past, as it’s also put the finishing touches on Space Chicken Ramen, an update to Japan’s first-ever instant ramen variety.

While the three Space Cup Noodles had preexisting certifications from Japan’s JAXA space agency, the organization’s official approval was only recently granted to Space Chicken Ramen, with Nissin announcing the honor this week. Also newly getting that recognition are Space versions of Nissin’s instant Keema Curry Meshi (curry rice), hayashi (hashed beef) rice

…and, perhaps most appropriately of all for a dish to be eaten amongst the stars, Space Yakisoba UFO.

▼ Yakisoba UFO gets its name from the vaguely flying saucer-shaped package it usually comes in.

Nissin says it developed the Space Yakisoba UFO after a talk with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who said it’s a personal favorite of his that he hoped to be able to eat on his next trip into space. It looks like he’s going to get to do just that, as all seven Nissin space foods will be traveling with Noguchi on his upcoming voyage to the ISS, and while Nissin isn’t currently offering them for sale to the general public, they seem like just the sort of thing that would be great to include in the company’s disaster readiness kits.

Source: Nissin via Japaaan
Top image: Nissin
Insert images: Nissin (1, 2)
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