Thailand to send durians to space

In the future, astronauts might be able to enjoy the king of fruit in space.

The Thai government’s space research agency — yes, we have one — is aiming to send baked durians to space in July, as a part of their research to produce Thai food suited for consumption in space. 

Dr. Ammarin Pimnoo of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) presented their “Thai Food to Space” project to media yesterday and revealed packages of baked durians ready to be shipped off the earth.

The space-friendly durians were developed by two private companies — Daily Food Ltd. and Signature Marketing Co. Ltd. — and the durian species they chose is Monthong, arguably the most delicious variety from Thailand.

To emphasize the “Thainess” of this project even further, the durian packages shown to media were labeled under the brand “Space Elephant,” because what could possibly be more Thai than elephants and durians?

Photo: Sanook

Napasorn Jongjittanon, from GISTDA, said the durians will be sent hurtling from the earth’s atmosphere via a rocket launched by an unnamed US rocket company. A Thai satellite company, Mu Space and Advanced Technology, will also play a role, according to Matichon.

Photo: Sanook

So what exactly is the point of shipping delicious baked durians into space? GISTDA said it aims to collect data of how the texture, smell, and packaging of the durians have changed — if at all — when they come back to earth. That data, they hope, will help Thailand develop food suitable for space travel space or related technology.

Along with baked durians, GISTDA also plans to send off riceberry, the Thai purple rice that’s currently a trendy health food, on the same flight.

Sadly, it looks as if Thai durians and rice are going to reach the space before its citizens. Coconuts previously reported in 2014 that Pirada Techawijit, a female engineer, would become the first Thai astronaut under the so-called Apollo Space Academy, but the project was later cancelled and she never left the earth.

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