Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ice Cream In Space

There's just something about ice cream...the United States space program seems to have made ice cream an unexpectedly prominent part of its operations since they began. Perhaps it's because astronauts, travelling farther from home than anyone ever has before, need something to remind them what's waiting back on planet Earth. Whatever the reason, space travellers want their dessert, and scientists have found creative ways to provide it for them. Space ice cream is a passable substitute for the real thing, a dehydrated, vacuum-packed dessert that you can buy at many museum gift shops to try for yourself.

But it's time for space ice cream to move over: This week, those aboard the International Space Station get to have real, cold, creamy Blue Bell ice cream for dessert. A carton of the sweet treat is arriving on Wednesday, part of the payload of the latest SpaceX capsule. Technology has finally advanced to the point where we can do something really useful: Get ice cream all the way into space without letting it melt.

How exactly is the ice cream staying cold? It's temporarily inhabiting a freezer that will later serve a more scientific purpose: storing scientific samples until they return to earth. The other contents of the capsule include half a ton of essential supplies for the Space Station, plus 11 science experiments designed by high school students from across the United States.

Space ice cream served an important purpose, and astronauts certainly enjoyed it. If you are curious about just what this unique dessert tastes like, you can easily experience it for yourself! Just visit our website to learn more about it and to find out how your family can eat ice cream like an astronaut. Maybe it would be a fun way to add a surprise to your next space-themed birthday party! At least, you can be sure that it will not drip all over your floor on a hot day. In fact, that's one of the main advantages that space ice cream still has over regular ice cream. In space, melted ice cream doesn't drip; it floats in all directions and could ruin important equipment.

So, if the International Space Station crew wants more Blue Bell ice cream in the future, they had better make sure they keep that carton in the freezer; be careful while scooping it out; and by all means lick their bowls absolutely clean when they are finished. One last question, though...if you have a brain freeze in space, can anyone hear you scream?

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