Anyone living outside the curry hotspots of the UK will know that it can be hard at times to find a good spot of spice unless you're in the Midlands Balti Belt, but what are the curry-loving Japanese astronauts aboard the International Space Station to do?

If Tokyo's House Foods Corp has its way, come next blastoff there should be plenty of hot stuff to go around, as the company has just unveiled the world's first space curry.

Curry in favour

After solving the perpetual problem of making the food sticky enough to stay on the plate in zero-gravity conditions, House Foods added vitamin D to help with calcium absorption. Bone-mass loss is a common problem among long-stay astronauts.

If taste tests go well, it plans to ask JAXA , the Japanese space agency, to put the curry on the approved list for a trip into orbit on the next NASA Shuttle.

Eschewing gags about the flavour being out of this world, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata was forced to try the new recipe at a recent tasting party , pronouncing it a success. Next on the menu for the British astronauts - pigs in blankets in space.