When you think of dessert eaten in space, the first thing that comes to people’s minds would be the infamous “astronaut ice cream”. It turns out that astronaut ice cream is a lie—no astronaut has ever had it on the rocket.
What’s an “astronaut ice cream”?
It’s basically freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream. It’s so wide-spread that many have seen videos of astronaut ice cream taste tests on the Internet. Any space-enthused kid hoping to vicariously experience a glimmer of life on board Apollo 7 can also find this crumbly, chalky substance offered at gift shops inside space museums.
Ice Cream Investigation
Apollo 7 has been cited by multiple sources as the only rocket to carry the chalky snack. Vox News contacted Walt Cunningham, the only survivor of the flight for comment.
“We never had the stuff (ice cream),” he stated, though he wished they did. Cunningham also added that not only was food unpleasant aboard the spacecraft back then, sweets were especially terrible.
Crumbly food are also simply a bad idea , Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut explains in a video. Crumbs would fly everywhere–an absolute mess to clean up in the anti-gravity space. As a result, “rocket food” usually have a thin layer of gelatin on top to “glue” all dishes into one convenient, crumb-free piece.
A representative from Whirlpool Corporation, the company behind the astronaut ice cream, have commented when probed that they did not know if astronauts actually eat their ice cream on flights since “it was before she worked at the company”.
Astronauts Eat Real Ice Cream
After the 1970s, fridges were installed on rockets, and technology improved to the point that astronauts could eat actual ice cream on board.
Text by Fortune Insight