Thailand To Send World's Smelliest Fruit Into Space

Thailand is gearing up to launch durian into orbit.

What you need to know
  • Thailand wants to send Durian into space to test it as a food for astronauts
  • The test, slated for June, will launch the fruit into space for five minutes
  • The super pungent fruit is popular in Thailand where it's known as 'king of fruits'

Thailand's space research agency wants to make history by sending Durian -- the smelliest fruit on Earth -- into orbit.

The Thai space operator Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency reportedly plans to launch the baked aromatic fruit into space next month on a rocket.

The mission is about testing whether the smelly fruit could be a viable food for Thai astronauts, GISTDA says.

“Our main goal is to eventually bring Thai food up to space to be consumed by astronauts,” a spokesman for the agency told the BBC.

“For a start, we chose durian, which is the king of fruits in Thailand. We'd like to send [it] to the atmosphere at the same level that astronauts live and bring them back to analyse their texture for any changes.”

According to the BBC, the fruit will only be in space for five minutes before returning to Earth. Scientists will then examine it to look at the impact of space travel on things like texture and taste.

Durian fruit is enjoyed for its sweet, custard-like interior, but better known for it's notoriously awful smell. Image: Getty

Durian is not popular in western nations but is adored in Thailand as well as in other Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Its smell, which some people liken to a mix of chives and sugar, is so strong that it is often banned from public transport and airplanes.

Just last month more than 500 students and teachers were evacuated from RMIT University in Melbourne as a result of the fruit's smell initially suspected to be a gas leak.