Def lab works on food for spaceflight crew

Institute of Aerospace Medicine researching on the psychological needs for ISRO’s human flight crew

Published: 03rd December 2016 01:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2016 05:20 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

 CHENNAI: The Mysuru-based Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) is planning to prepare food for India’s Human Spaceflight Programme that will carry a two-member crew to a low earth orbit, according to Rakesh Kumar Sharma, director, DFRL.

Indian Air Force’s Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) is researching the physiological and psychological needs for Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) human spaceflight crew.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) fifth edition of Foodcon 2016, Sharma said trials were being conducted on G Suit (a flight suit worn by aviators and astronauts who experience high levels of acceleration force, g).

It is designed to prevent black-out and g-LOC (g-induced loss of consciousness) caused by blood pooling in the lower part of the body when under acceleration against gravity, thus depriving the brain of blood.
“We are developing the food keeping in mind the requirements of aviators using the G-suit so that flow of blood to the brain is not blocked,” he said.

Talking of the space food, he said it would be more like  toothpaste. “It will hold all solids converted into a paste,” said Sharma. Asked how long would it take to develop the food, he said it was at an inception stage.
ISRO has an MoU with IAM to conduct basic research on the physiological and psychological requirements for human space mission as a pre-project R&D. ISRO also has agreements with a Bangalore-based third party to develop spacesuits.

Apart from the planned space food venture, DFRL is coming out with bitter gourd chips that are green in colour for soldiers defending the borders at high altitudes. Sharma said the soldiers serving at high altitudes required more spicy and more colourful food.
“We are developing food which provides more energy to the soldiers to survive in high altitude areas,” said Sharma.

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