The price of food rations on board the International Space Station (ISS) has increased by nearly 50 percent over the past year due to inflation, a Russian official said on Thursday.
"Last year, the cosmonaut's daily ration in space cost about 11,000 rubles (250 euros), and today the cost is reaching 15,000 rubles," Viktor Dobrovolsky, director of the food institute that supplies space cosmonauts, told the Interfax news agency.
The increase is caused by price inflation on natural products used in making the rations, and rising costs of required tests and analyses, he said.
Cosmonauts consume between 1.6 and 1.75 kilogrammes of food per day. The menu is repeated every eight days, Dobrovolsky said.
When in weightless conditions, cosmonauts generally consume moist and sticky products like buckwheat porridge, boiled eggs, pudding and ragout, since these foods stay on the forks and spoons without floating away.
Products that cause crumbs, like bread, are excluded since crumbs can scatter around the spaceship. Salt and pepper can only be used if salt is dissolved in water and pepper is mixed in vegetable oil.
(c) 2010 AFP