If you're floating 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for months on end, there's a good chance you'll get a hankering for pizza and ice cream at some point. Luckily, it seems you can call ground control for rocket-powered interstellar room service.
According to a tweet from NASA astronaut Joseph M. Acaba, ice cream and pizza were among the 7,400 pounds of “science and supplies” aboard the Cygnus ship that took off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Sunday.
“The primary purpose of the resupply mission is to send science and research experiments, as well as crew supplies,” NASA told MUNCHIES via email. “The agency also does its best to fulfill crew members’ requests for particular food items. The Cygnus contained a cold box with ice cream and frozen fruit bars, as the deputy program manager confirmed in the pre-launch news conference.”
Not surprisingly, Acaba made sure to mention that he was "eagerly awaiting" Cygnus's arrival in his tweet and, according to the Associated Press, “Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli has been craving pizza for months,” and who can blame him? Given what we already know about space food—it isn’t always the most appetizing—these earthly indulgences are all the more enjoyable to the brave men and women who spend months orbiting our planet and carrying out important new research.
This wouldn't be the first pizza in space, however. Back in 2001, Pizza Hut "delivered" a pizza to Russian astronauts aboard ISS, in what the BBC at the time described as a $1 million "promotional stunt." That pizza, however, was only slightly different to what we're used to on this planet: "salami had to be used as pepperoni lacked the necessary shelf life, growing mouldy."
But it seems that pizza technology has evolved considerably since Pizza Hut's initial voyage into the outer reaches of product placement. Cygnus, which is an unmanned automated spacecraft, should be reaching the ISS by early Tuesday morning, at which point we can all take comfort in the fact that pizza will be in our orbit.