Hamburgers considered for Russian cosmonauts

Moscow - Hamburgers could soon be debuting on Russian menus in space.

The Russian research institute responsible for designing meals for the country's cosmonauts said on Thursday it was prepared to consider them, after the head of the Russian branch of US fast-food giant Burger King suggested that it should add cheeseburgers in tubes, according to the website of the Kommersant newspaper.

"We're not opposed to this possibility, especially if the food tastes good and the cosmonauts like it," Lyudmila Pavlova, the head of the space food division at the Russian Academy of Sciences, was quoted as saying by ITAR-Tass.

However, some of the development team expressed aversion to bumping burgers onto the Russian space food menu.

"Personally, I am against the idea of burgers. It's fast food that is not customary for our country," said Alexander Agureyev, who oversees catering for the International Space Station at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

According to Agureyev, proposals to change space menus have been plentiful since space food began to be mass produced in 2011.

Astronauts' menus are generally made up of refrigerated, dehydrated and canned foods with long shelf lives.

While a variety of ethnic and fast foods ranging from hamburgers to chicken teriyaki are currently available on menus for American astronauts, the menu for Russian cosmonauts has generally featured more traditional fare such as borscht, cottage cheese and caviar.

During the first joint US-Soviet space flight in 1975, Russian astronauts famously treated their American colleagues to tubes of borscht paste with vodka labels jokingly taped on the outside.

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