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Dutch Astronaut to Bring Cheese to Space Station Party

Photo: NASA; Animation: Eater

While Americans bring "thermostabilized barbecue brisket" into space with them, the Dutch bring cheese. Gouda, to be specific: Dutch astronaut André Kuipers got official permission to take a whole bunch of gouda with him when he heads up to the International Space Station for six months. Kuipers gets to take nine containers of bonus food and every single one of those babies is going to be packed full of gouda. Don't worry, non-Dutch astronauts on the space station, Kuipers plans to share. Here's a press release:

Astronaut Andre Kuipers Takes Old Amsterdam Cheese On Board Space Trip

Old Amsterdam cheese rises sky high! Dutch astronaut André Kuipers received NASA’s formal consent to take his favorite cheese – Old Amsterdam – on board of his next space mission in December 2011.

Old Amsterdam premium Aged Gouda will go into space with Dutch astronaut André Kuipers and will be shared with the American and Russian colleagues on board. A unique happening. The Dutch ESA astronaut will step on board the International Space Station for the second time and will stay in space for six months.

For the mission called PromISSE, next to food sent to the space station by American and Russian organizations, the astronauts are allowed to order bonus food. Kuipers chose: Real Dutch cheese, Old Amsterdam in particular, which will be provided by Westland Kaasspecialiteiten, the manufacturer of Old Amsterdam. Such bonus foods help to make the far-away space station feel a bit like home.

Henriëtte Westland, PR and Event Manager at Old Amsterdam was pleasantly surprised: ‘It is our great honor to supply André Kuipers and his colleagues with a stock of Old Amsterdam in space. We are always in search of new fans abroad, but making it as far as outer space we obviously never expected.’

Strict path

A piece of Old Amsterdam cheese cannot leave for a trip in space just like that. Before Kuipers and his colleagues can enjoy a little Amsterdam nostalgia on board, the cheese has followed a strict path. Kuipers is allowed to take nine containers of bonus food, every one of them carrying two pieces of Old Amsterdam cheese. 18 pieces in total. These portions are smaller than usual regarding their storage life after opening in space. On top of this the cheese has to be sealed in such a way that it can be kept for over a year. Even though Kuipers will only stay in space for six months, the journey the cheese makes before sky rocketing, is a long one. Within a few months’ time the cheese goes from The Netherlands to Michigan, through to Texas and subsequently from Kazachstan to the International Space Station in a Russian space freight craft.

Enjoying weightlessly

Kuipers is very happy with the Dutch snack he is allowed to take with him on board the space station and looks forward to eating and sharing with his colleagues Old Amsterdam in space.

Source: Westland Holland Cheese Inc.

· Astronaut Andre Kuipers Takes Old Amsterdam Cheese On Board Space Trip [Press Release]
· All Space Food Coverage on Eater [-E-]