Any area-enthused youngster has endured the crumbly, chalky agglomeration of flavors referred to as “astronaut ice cream.” We cope with it due to the meant connection to the lives of actual area explorers.
The most effective hassle is that astronaut ice cream is a lie.
As the above video indicates, this mythical kid’s deal has rather murky records.
The case towards astronaut ice cream
Apollo 7 is recognized using many online resources because the only flight to harbor the chalky ice cream. When I asked astronaut Walt Cunningham, the sole surviving member of the team, about it, he said, “We by no means had that stuff.” As you may listen above, he said that years later, whilst he first encountered the freeze-dried dessert, he wished they had had it on Apollo 7 — but they in no way did. That matches with the entire absence of ice cream from assignment transcripts as properly. Jennifer Levasseur, a museum curator on the National Air and Space Museum, said it’s likely Cunningham recalls successfully.
“I think it’s very likely it by no means flew,” she wrote me. “It probably was given made, examined at the floor, and rejected. They do usually get to try matters earlier, and that they likely concept it was as horrible because it absolutely is whilst you purchase it inside the gift keep.” That fits with the technical limitations to area ice cream — as Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield defined (at the side of Buzz Aldrin and lots of different astronauts), crumbly food like astronaut ice cream could be the main danger in space. That’s the motive John Young was reprimanded for sneaking a corned pork sandwich on board throughout the Gemini application — bread crumbs may want to float into contraptions effortlessly. Even if astronaut ice cream were on Apollo 7, it might probably have been rehydratable food similar to the maximum of the other food options on the flight, no longer the freeze-dried block we apprehend these days.
That might be what makes astronaut ice cream so disconcerting — it teaches youngsters that something horrible for area tours is what astronauts eat. If kids need to devour astronaut ice cream, they should just revel in delicious, actual ice cream, as actual astronauts have in many instances because of the Seventies, when fridges became to be had in space.
So is there any argument that astronaut ice cream did fly in space?
NASA presents some technical data of its missions, and a seek turns up a few references to ice cream that would have suited the Apollo 7 project. The Apollo 7 press kit, launched earlier than the challenge, does point out “vanilla ice cream,” as does one 1968 UPI article. There’s also a smattering of technical documents that mention the development of some ice cream in space, but none can verify the existence of ice cream on board. As the above video shows, debunking astronaut ice cream would not have to kill the fun of ingesting space food. There are other delicious and educational options (I share my favorite toward the end).