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Pizzas delivered to International Space Station astronauts

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Astronaut at International Space Station doing spacewalk repairs with Earth in background

Photo: NASA (Getty Images)

Update, August 30, 2021: After receiving the shipment of ingredients, the astronauts finally got to have their terrestrial treat of pizza. And they happily documented the experience too, in video format, so we puny Earthlings could watch all the fun. The Indian Express reports that the astronauts assembled the pizzas carefully, as to not let all the ingredients fly around the cabin, and you can see for yourself how much fun it all looks.

The video caption from French astronaut, Thomas Pesquet says, “Floating pizza night with friends, it almost feels like a Saturday on Earth. They say a good chef never reveals their secrets, but I made a video so you can be the judge. Everything but pineapple, that would be a serious offense in Italy.” Apparently even astronauts have strong feelings on the pineapple thing. Canned chunks floating around the cabin sounds like a terrible situation anyway.

The pizzas look a bit like Lunchables, but at one point in the video you can see an astronaut wrap the pie in foil, likely for a quick bake in the oven. The end results look like something that would definitely hit the spot when that craving hits, and honestly, being able to say you just had pizza in space is probably worth the bragging rights alone.

Original Post, August 12, 2021: Three weeks ago billionaire Bond villain Jeff Bezos spent approximately four minutes in “space” (he went 62 miles above Earth, barely reaching the edge of it), and everyone was in some way or another forced to pay attention. Meanwhile, in actual space there are astronauts who have been floating 254 miles above the earth since last November, and nobody talks about them! As you read this, seven people with advanced degrees in science and engineering are living inside a space station that’s careening through the final frontier at a speed of 17,150 miles per hour, working toward the betterment of humanity. We ought to celebrate them the best way we know how: with pizza.

Today, those astronauts aboard the International Space Station will be receiving a fresh delivery of supplies from Earth, which I imagine must feel a bit like Christmas for them. Among the goodies they’ll be unwrapping is a new mounting bracket for the station’s solar wings, a few cases of simulated moon dust to be used in 3D-printing experiments, a slime mold called “the Blob,” and, of course, food to keep them happy and alive for the next 90 days.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the ever-evolving world of literal space-age cuisine, astronauts at the International Space Station are no longer limited to dehydrated food packets or pastes slurped out of a tube. As reported by the Associated Press, today’s delivery includes fresh produce like apples, tomatoes, and kiwi, a smorgasbord of delectable cheeses, and a kit the astronauts can use to make their own fresh pizzas in the ISS oven.

In fact, the development of excellent astronaut food has been a major endeavor in between international science programs as an instrument of diplomacy, as sharing foods from their homelands helps build camaraderie among the multinational crew. (Currently the space station home to three Americans, two Russians, one French and one Japanese astronauts.) Astronauts have a broad menu of foods they can request, like noodles from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, Kung Pao chicken developed by China’s space program, and coffee to be used in the ISSpresso, a coffee machine that was specifically designed for low gravity by—who else?—the Italian Space Agency.


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