If you were a kid, like, ever, you probably tried out so-called space ice cream: that weird, chalky, dehydrated block of Neapolitan stuff that everyone said was so delicious. (It wasn't.) Well, astronaut ice cream just got more awesome, because it just got real. On Monday Aug. 14, NASA sent ice cream into space with their latest SpaceX launch as a tasty treat for the astronauts.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are getting a selection of vanilla, chocolate, and birthday cake flavored ice cream — again, real ice cream — as well as an unidentified selection of ice cream candy bars, per ABC News.
I know that astronauts are carefully screened for behavioral issues and compatibility, yadda yadda yadda, but I still predict fights over any ice cream Snickers bars. (Undoubtedly the best of the ice cream candy bars, though Twix is a close contender.)
The astronauts lucked out.
The ice cream is getting packed because the launch, which is ostensibly to bring up Very Important Research Things For Science, had a little extra space in the freezer. And, much like many of us approach extra space in our personal freezers at home: you might as well fill it with ice cream.
Because, ice cream!
There's another kind of ice cream on board, too.
ISS-CREAM, that is! ...No, seriously.
ISS-CREAM is actually the for-real official nickname for the Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass instrument for the International Space Station, an experiment that will collect tiny charged particles called "galactic cosmic rays," according to a NASA Tumblr page full of technical information and really amazing gifs of space.
Also on board the SpaceX is a whole bunch of mice, which I very much hope are not being packed along with the ice cream.
The 20 mice are part of an experiment to hopefully determine why male astronauts develop vision problems — scientists will study pressure in their eyes and fluid in their brains, per ABC News.
There are also experiments to help study Parkinson's disease, and stem cell experiments to focus on regrowing lung tissue.
But let's be real: the ice cream is what's going to give the astronauts the motivation to get all this actually important stuff done. Because everything is easier when there's dessert at the end.