Nissin Food Products announced Monday it will collaborate with Japan's Space Agency, NASDA, to make instant noodles that can be eaten on space missions.
``Space Ram'' _ that's short for ramen, the name for Japan's favorite slurpable snack _ will be made especially for astronauts flying on the Kibo research module, Japan's contribution to the International Space Station, Nissin said in a press release.
Brothers and Sisters in his infinite wisdom he is making sure we have adequate provender as we go to Mars:
Nissin said its top researchers will be devoting their noodles to making a product that tastes good and doesn't fall apart in zero gravity. The goal? ``To create the ultimate light snack.''
``This is also in response to a strong wish by our chairman Momofuku Ando, who invented the instant noodle, to create food for outer space,'' the company said.
NASDA's Kibo research module will be launched by the U.S. space shuttle to the space station in three separate shots beginning in 2004. Nissin plans to have its extraterrestrial noodles ready by then.
Ando, affectionately known in Japan as the ``noodle king,'' is credited with revolutionizing the eating habits of his nation and turning instant ramen into a multi-billion dollar business here.
Noodle fanatics can visit a faithful recreation of the wooden shack where Ando created instant ramen 44 years ago at the Instant Noodle Museum in western Japan.
I suggest we send FSM evangelists to Japan immediately as the ground seems fertile for converting many:
In Japan, instant ramen ingenuity is not just limited to dreams of outer space. At convenience stores around the nation, entire shelves are devoted to noodles that come in tastes that range from Korean ``kimchi'' cabbage to spicy cod roe spaghetti.
The snack, voted in a recent Japanese poll as ``the food of the century,'' is such big business that instant noodle makers from around the world converge on Tokyo every other year for the summit of the Instant Ramen Manufacturers' Association. Ando is chairman.
Truely, the Japanese have been touched by his noodley appendage!