Rome

Italian astronaut to take lasagna into orbit

Parmitano to share Italian food at space station

Italian astronaut to take lasagna into orbit

Rome, February 20 - When Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano is sent into space this spring for a six-month sojourn, he will be taking as many culinary treats as possible. Chefs have prepared and carefully dehydrated everything from lasagna to tiramisu, eggplant parmigiana, pesto risotto, and mushroom risotto which he will share with others on board the International Space Station. So says David Avino, technical manager for food preparation for the Italian's space flight, who spoke as Parmitano began a tour of schools around the peninsula, to reach out to astronauts of the future. In a series of events organized by the Italian Space Agency to present his "Volare" or "Flying" mission, Parmitano began at Rome's Vittorio Emanuele II national boarding school. He explained his mission to students, and urged them to study hard in case they might get a similar opportunity some day. Parmitano, a captain in the Italian air force, has been training in Russia and is to copilot a Soyuz TMA spacecraft and spend six months working on the Space Station beginning in May. His mission will involve numerous scientific experiments and may even involve a space walk. It should also involve some good food. Avino said all the Italian dishes have been dehydrated through a very particular process that aims to leave the meals' consistency as close to fresh-made as possible. Sealed in aluminium bags, the Italian food will reach the Space Station before Parmitano.

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