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N° 17–2020: A perfect dinner under the stars: which Saarland speciality will ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer get to savour in outer space?

8 October 2020

The European Space Agency (ESA) is launching a contest to choose the most heavenly local cuisine via online voting and a TV special.

A new spin on “Star” cuisine! ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer will set off for the International Space Station (ISS) at the end of 2021, and like his European Astronaut Corps colleagues, he is allowed to bring his favourite “crew choice meal” with him besides the usual inter-galactic fodder astronauts enjoy. A contest will see ten restaurateurs from Maurer's home region go head to head to create the delicious delicacies the proud Saarlander will pack for his journey into outer space.

A special Tourismus Zentrale Saarland GmbH webpage gives the public a taste for the contestants and the menu items they have cooked up (currently served in their restaurants) – and the public have until 7 November to vote for their favourite fare on this website.

Before we know which dish Maurer will savour aboard the ISS, the three top-rated restaurateurs will first have to win over an expert jury who will sample each meal on a TV special aired by the Saarländischer Rundfunk network: “Mit Herz am Herd ins All” (“Hearty Meals from Outer Space” in German). Jury members include Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla (Chair of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center - DLR), Tobias Hans (Minister-President of Saarland), Michael Backes (CEO of the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security and Spokesperson of the Saarland Ambassadors), Jörg Hofmann (Head of Global Culinary Excellence at LSG Group) and Jan Wörner (ESA Director General).

So when Matthias Maurer samples the winning menu for the first time aboard the ISS he will be in for a surprise!

Since many factors need to be considered when preparing cosmic cuisine, ESA is working in Germany with LSG Group, a certified catering company that will prepare the top-scoring spread so it can be preserved in space.

The dish prepared for Matthias Maurer’s delectation will be decided on the TV special to be aired by Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR) on 21 November at 6.15 pm . 


More information about ESA Astronaut Matthias Maurer: 

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More information about the preparation of space food (article in German):

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About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia and Latvia is an Associate Member.

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By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

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