A French astronaut blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday evening, taking Michelin-starred cuisine along for the ride.
France, renowned for their fancy dishes, is also the birthplace of the Michelin star – a term used to evaluate a fine dining experience and exquisitely prepared food. It will be the first time such dishes are going into space.
"We will have food prepared by a Michelin-starred chef at the station. We have food for the big feasts: for Christmas, New Year's and birthdays," said French space rookie Thomas Pesquet, who is also taking a saxophone up with him.
Pesquet, 38, lifted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with veteran US and Russian colleagues Peggy Whitson and Oleg Novitsky, for a six-month mission to the ISS.
It is the former airline pilot's first trip to space and to mark the occasion he brought along a selection of dishes prepared by top French chefs Alain Ducasse and Thierry Marx. The menu includes beef tongue with truffled foie gras and duck breast confit.
Pesquet who trained seven years for this flight, took off on Thursday evening and is scheduled to dock at the ISS on November 19 at 2200 GMT.
Colleague Whitson, who holds the record for being the first female astronaut to spend the most time in space said, the fancy French food will certainly be welcomed.
"I think the thing that I find the most challenging about space flights is the lack of variety of the food," said the US astronaut, who will command the ISS for the second time after becoming its first female commander back in 2007.
The launch had been postponed for nearly a month due to technical issues, which have complicated plans to extend the periods during which the ISS is fully staffed with six astronauts.
The space laboratory has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres per hour (17,000 miles per hour) since 1998.
Space travel has been one of the few areas of international cooperation between Russia and the West that has not been wrecked by the Ukraine crisis.