The countdown is on. Back in late May, we promised you durians in space, and ladies and gentlemen, you’re about to get durians in space.
A baked durian developed by Thailand’s space research agency is scheduled to blast free of the earth’s atmosphere today on a New Shepard rocket belonging to Blue Origin, a US space flight company owned by Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos.
The “Space Elephant” brand durian is among several microgravity experiments to be conducted on the brief flight, which is originating from Blue Origin’s test site in West Texas at 9pm Thailand time.
How exactly did we get to this wonderful moment in history? Mu Space, a Thai satellite company, said they purchased a payload spot on the New Shepard for the vacuum-sealed durian, which is a project of Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA).
“There were four of those vacuum-sealed durians in the payload,” Philip Nalangan, Mu Space director of communications and media told Coconuts.
“We think they [GISTDA] want to find out how zero gravity affects the taste, texture, and smell of food.” Mm hmm.
The space flight will last about 10 minutes, after which Blue Origin will retrieve and send the durian packages back to Thailand for inspection — they should arrive by August.
Knowing the king of fruit as well as we do, we predict that even zero gravity will have no effect on its smell.
In May, GISTDA revealed they chose the Monthong species, arguably the most delicious variety from Thailand, to slip beyond the surly bonds of earth.
Not only durian will be flown outside the earth’s atmosphere today, other science experiments from Thailand include a device intended to stem bleeding from Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health and a carbon nanotube from Chulalongkorn University.
Another exciting project for all mankind includes Blue Origin’s “Mannequin Skywalker,” a dummy that will simulate the experience people will theoretically someday have on their rocket.
Blue Origin said in April that they could potentially begin flying human passengers on the New Shepard by the end of this year. Reuters reported a ticket aboard the spacecraft is expected to cost between US$200,000 and US$300,000 (about THB6.6 million to THB10 million).
You can watch a live stream of the launch on Blue Origin’s website.
Launch tomorrow slated for 9:00 am CT / 14:00 UTC. Live webcast begins at T-20 minutes on https://t.co/7Y4The9OmR.
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 17, 2018