Shouldn't astronauts hurtling through space get to enjoy some Earthly delights? Today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched some experiments — and a lot of ice cream — up to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Honestly, the flavour selection is not too shabby.
Today's delivery of tasty treats should not be confused with The Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (CREAM) experiment — or ISS CREAM — an iteration of which will also be ferried up into Low Earth Orbit today. ISS CREAM is kind of like a balloon that measures cosmic rays in space, far above the interference of Earth's atmosphere. Its cute name might also have something to do with today's special delivery of actual ice cream.
"There will be chocolate, vanilla and birthday cake flavored ice cream heading to the International Space Station on today's launch, as well as ice cream candy bars," Kathryn Hambleton, Public Affairs Officer at NASA Headquarters, told Gizmodo. "[The ice cream] is frozen. It will be going up in three freezers that will come back filled with research when Dragon returns."
SpaceX's ice cream run — whose launch window opened at 2:31AM AEST (4:31PM GMT) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida — included roughly 2900kg of science experiments and supplies packed into a Dragon spacecraft. This included 20 mice, which will be used to study the impacts of long duration spaceflight on biology. It's the rocket company's 12th contracted resupply run to the ISS, and between ice cream, mice, and the successful re-landing of the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage booster, it was one hell of a launch.
You can watch a recording of the live stream below: