Any area-enthused kid has persisted the crumbly, chalky agglomeration of flavors called “astronaut ice cream.” We deal with it due to the intended connection to the lives of real space explorers.
The handiest hassle is that astronaut ice cream is a lie. As the above video suggests, this legendary children’s treat has a particularly murky record. The case towards astronaut ice cream Apollo 7 is identified via many online sources as the handiest flight to harbor the chalky ice cream. When I asked astronaut Walt Cunningham, the only surviving member of the group, about it, he said, “We in no way had that stuff.” As you can pay attention above, he stated that years later, while he first encountered the freeze-dried dessert, he wanted that they had had it on Apollo 7 — however, they by no means did.
That matches with the complete absence of ice cream from task transcripts as well. Jennifer Levasseur, the museum curator at the National Air and Space Museum, stated that Cunningham recollects efficiently in all likelihood. “I assume it’s possible is by no means flew,” she wrote me. “It probably was given made, examined on the floor, and rejected. They do always get to try matters in advance, and that they probably idea it become as terrible as it clearly is while you buy it in the present shop.”
That fits with the technical obstacles to space ice cream — as Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield defined (in conjunction with Buzz Aldrin and many other astronauts), crumbly meals like astronaut ice cream could be a first-rate chance in the area. That’s the motive John Young turned into reprimanded for sneaking a corned pork sandwich on board for the duration of the Gemini program — bread crumbs ought to effortlessly go with the flow into units. Even if astronaut ice cream had been on Apollo 7, it might be probable were rehydratable meals similar to the maximum of the opposite meal options on the flight, now not the freeze-dried block we understand nowadays.
That is probably what makes astronaut ice cream so disconcerting — it teaches kids that something horrible for area tours is what astronauts devour. If children want to consume astronaut ice cream, they need to enjoy delicious, real ice cream, as actual astronauts oftentimes have since the 1970s, while fridges became available in space.
The only wish for astronaut ice cream
So is there any argument that astronaut ice cream did fly in the area?
NASA gives some technical records of its missions, and a search turns up some references to ice cream that could have fit the Apollo 7 undertaking. For example, the Apollo 7 press kit, released before the task, mentions “vanilla ice cream,” as does one 1968 UPI article. There’s additionally a smattering of technical files that mention the improvement of some ice cream in space — however, none can verify the lifestyles of ice cream on board.
As the above video shows, debunking astronaut ice cream does not need to kill the laugh of ingesting space meals. There are other scrumptious and academic options (I percentage my preferred closer to the end). You can find this video and all of Vox’s motion pictures on YouTube. And in case you’re inquisitive about assisting our video journalism, you may become a member of the Vox Video Lab on YouTube.