Space ice cream, also known as astronaut ice cream, has proven to be one of the long-term best sellers. Teachers, event planners, kids, aspiring astronauts, hikers, campers, and others often ask questions regarding space ice cream on earth, so here are some quick answers. Each of the space ice cream packages contains a slice of freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream. Each package weighs roughly 21 grams and contains a slice measuring approximately 2 x 3 x 1. Each foil-sealed pouch contains a normal single serving of ice cream. Because it's been freeze-dried, it is dry and crunchy and almost has the same texture as the inside of a malted milk ball. However, once you place it in your mouth and it starts to dissolve, the ice cream flavor really comes out.
Freeze-dried ice cream was developed by NASA for the Apollo missions and is still used today. These "space treats" are frozen to -40 F, vacuum dried and placed in a special polyfoil pouch. They are ready to eat and don't require refrigeration. Space ice cream is a dehydrated brick of ice cream that is always ready to eat, with no need to freeze. Freeze drying (or lyophilization), removes water from the ice cream by lowering the air pressure to a point where ice shifts from a solid to a gas.
The ice cream is placed in a vacuum chamber and frozen until the water crystallizes. The air pressure is lowered, creating a vacuum, forcing air out of the chamber; next heat is applied, vaporizing the ice; finally a freezing coil traps the vaporized water. This process continues for hours, resulting in a perfect freeze-dried ice cream slice. Initially, freeze dried or space ice cream feels like a foamy piece of chalk in your mouth, but your saliva dissolves it quickly; the fats from the ice cream coat the inside of your mouth. The original flavors, usually vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, arranged as in Neapolitan ice cream, are detectable, but not strong. It kind of sticks to your teeth, unlike regular ice cream, but it does taste good.
Astronaut ice cream is ubiquitous in science museum gift shops, sometimes accompanied by other freeze-dried foods such as ice-cream sandwiches, various sliced fruits, and even pizza.
Space ice cream is really one of the coolest treats around. These freeze-dried desserts (a primary food group unto themselves) are a fun treat for everyone. You'll find a variety of ice cream makers to choose from, and most do the job quite well. You can find the quantities of astronaut ice cream that you need for your next party offered at discount pricing on bulk orders.
Enjoy this fun, ready to eat ice cream anywhere, anytime - because you don't need a spoon. The freeze-dried, vacuum packed snack can be enjoyed on your next mission whether it is to the moon or to your backyard.
Space ice cream is a big hit with astronauts of all sizes. Astronauts enjoy a wide variety of foods in space.
Aside from the daring astronauts, these snacks are great for campers and hikers or as stocking stuffer at Christmas. They also have a 2-year shelf life.