Yang Liwei, the 44-year-old military pilot who commanded the Shenzhou Five mission in 2003, revealed the menu on-board the spacecraft in his autobiography, The Nine Levels between Heaven and Earth.
"Many of my friends are curious about what we eat [in space] and think that the astronauts must have some expensive delicacies, like shark's fin or abalone," he wrote. "Actually we ate quite normal food, there is no need to keep it a secret," he added.
He listed a menu including braised chicken, steamed fish and dog meat from Huajiang county in Guangdong, which is famed for its nutritional benefits in China.
A local proverb in the south of China is that "Huajiang dog is better for you than ginseng", referring to the medicinal root that plays a vital role in traditional Chinese medicine.
He added that the diet had been specially drawn up for the astronauts by Chinese nutritionists and that the food had been purchased from special suppliers in Beijing. Dog is widely eaten in northern China, where it is believed to help battle the winter cold. The menu was still in use last year, when Chinese astronauts conducted their first ever spacewalk. China has plans to land a man on the moon by 2020.
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