When Korea’s first astronaut, Ko San, is launched into space by the Russians, he will have his kimchi with him. According to the New York Times:
Three top government research institutes spent millions of dollars and several years perfecting a version of kimchi that would not turn dangerous when exposed to cosmic rays or other forms of radiation and would not put off non-Korean astronauts with its pungency.
The latter may have been the greater challenge, and I wonder whether it will be adopted by Korean expats.
And then there’s this:
Ordinary kimchi is teeming with microbes, like lactic acid bacteria, which help fermentation. On Earth they are harmless, but scientists feared they could turn dangerous in space if cosmic rays and other radiation cause them to mutate.
Mutant kimchi! The South Korean government was actually worried about mutant kimchi! For some reason this fills me with glee.
Update: BoingBoing noticed it too.