An Italian astronaut had his craving cured after mentioning he missed pizza during a live event.

Mike Pomranz
December 04, 2017

Preparing any food in the zero-gravity conditions of space is difficult, but some foods would seem to be far trickier than others. Pizza, for instance. As soon as you spin that dough into the air, it’s not coming back down: It’s going straight to the ceiling. And everyone knows that a great pizza requires a quality pizza oven—probably not the best use of space and resources on something like the International Space Station (ISS). But at the same time, it is a proven fact that pizza is amazing. And it’s one of those foods astronauts are almost certain to get cravings for during long stays outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

That’s what happened to Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, a member of the European Space Agency’s Expedition 53 crew which is current aboard the ISS. As he explained in a recent tweet, he was “really, really” missing pizza, so he “CASUALLY” [his all caps] mentioned it to his boss during a live public event.

Turns out that “casual” mention did the trick, and a surprise stash of pizza-making supplies was included in a haul sent up via a recent automated Cygnus spacecraft delivery. After putting all the ingredients to good use, the European Space Agency posted video of the process and resulting meal on its official YouTube channel.


By Nespoli’s account, the final pies were “delicious,” but admittedly, these pizzas were the kind that probably only a desperate astronaut could love. Due to the many preparatory limitations, the crust was the pre-bagged, pre-baked kind, the “sauce” had to be thick and squeezed from a tube, and as far as cheese was concerned, let’s just say melted fresh mozzarella was nowhere to be found. That said, many of the toppings—including pepperoni, olives and anchovies—did look quite delicious. Now if only they could deliver in thirty minutes or less.