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No champagne at New Year party for Russian cosmonauts aboard ISS

December 05, 2013, 21:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Otherwise, the cosmonauts’ holiday and routine foods are the same
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© EPA/NASA Archive

MOSCOW, December 05, 21:14 /ITAR-TASS/. Neither tangerines nor traditional champagne – major symbols that many Russians deem to be inalienable from their New Year celebrations – will ornament the festive table at the International Space Station on December 31st, the ISS Russian crew’s chief foodstuff exper told Itar-Tasst.

Arrival of the Chinese Year of the Horse /one of the animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac, which the Russians have been paying special attention to in past thirty or so years/ will not be a reason to break the 'prohibition law' introduced at the orbital station, said Aleksandr Agureyev, the chief of the orbital meals section of the Medical and Biological Issues Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The ISS crew will celebrate the New Year not with a glass of champagne or some other alcoholic beverage but with a glass of juice. Fizzy drinks cannot replace champagne aboard the station, either.

“Cosmonauts have at their disposal an assortment of drinks excluding alcoholic and fizzy ones,” Agureyev said. “The matter is it’s unpleasant to drink something bubbly /in the conditions of zero gravity -- Itar-Tass,” he said explaining that in the conditions of weightlessness the swallowed liquid with dissipated carbon dioxide could flow out of the nose.

All in all, the cosmonauts’ holiday and routine foods are the same, he said adding that only so-called ‘psychological support’ dishes could be added to their diet on holidays.

The Progress M-21M cargo ship has delivered these dishes to the orbit. This time the consignment consists of a total of 21 items, mainly confectionaries. They are on the list of foods sent by their families and psychologists on the support team,” Agureyev said.

Russian cosmonauts will make a feast of fruit jelly, desiccated cherries and strawberries, candied citron, candies, nuts as well as fruit juice. Besides, the crew asked for various cereal and three strains of horseradish to be delivered aboard the cargo spaceship, the last one on the schedule of launches in the outgoing year.

“We have also sent a set of fresh fruit and vegetables like apples, tomatoes, and so on. But no citrus fruit abroad,” he said indicating that citrus fruit including New Year tangerines decay too soon during the flight.

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