Astronauts Threw an Out of This World Pizza Party Onboard the International Space Station
Earlier this month, a Cygnus cargo was launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility toward the International Space Station, carrying over 8,200 pounds worth of supplies for the seven crew members on board. According to the Associated Press, the ultra-long-range delivery included everything from fresh fruits and veggies, to some mounting hardware for a new set of "solar wings," to a "slime mold for a French educational experiment called Blob."
The multi-national astronauts onboard — including three Americans — also received an assortment of cheeses and a pizza-making kit that would allow them to prepare a round of zero-gravity slices. No offense to whatever Blob is, but it seems like the pizza kit might've been the hit of that particular shipment.
Over the weekend, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet posted an Instagram video of the crew enjoying their gravity-defying personal pizzas and, honestly, it looks like the greatest pizza party that has ever taken place. "Floating pizza night with friends, it almost feels like a Saturday on Earth," he wrote in the caption. "They say a good chef never reveals their secrets, but I made a video so you can be the judge. Everything but pineapple [as a topping], that would be a serious offense in Italy."
In the gloriously enjoyable video, the crew can be seen trying to sauce and top their pizzas (which look like little flatbreads) while the crusts float weightlessly in front of them. They're wrapped in foil and presumably heated, and then everyone enjoys the taste of... well, hopefully something that was reasonably close to pizza.
Those weren't the only treats the astronauts received. On Tuesday, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur posted that she'd gotten to celebrate her 50th birthday with quesadillas and tortilla-pizzas with real cheese," along with cookies, and cake with "chocolate 'candles'" — and there's still some ice cream that they haven't unpacked yet.
It's not the first known pizza delivery to the ISS, however. Although the Pizza Hut app sometimes freaks out if you're a mile past their delivery radius, the chain previously managed to send a pizza to space. In 2001, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachov received a six-inch Pizza Hut pizza that he wolfed down onboard the ISS, becoming the first astronaut to eat a slice in space.
The BBC reported that Pizza Hut paid the Russian Space Agency around $1 million to load the pizza onto one of their supply rockets for delivery to the ISS. In return, they received "footage of Mr. Usachov flashing a thumbs-up after eating the pizza" and were allowed to put an oversized Pizza Hut logo on a Russian proton rocket.
Usachov's pie was seasoned with extra salt and spices to compensate for space's effect on human taste buds, and it was topped with salami because the company learned that pepperoni wasn't shelf-stable enough for the lengthy delivery time. (Because of NASA's 'no ads on our spacecraft' policy, Usachov's American crewmates weren't allowed to share his personal pie.)
So the next time you have a pizza night, raise a slice in the direction of the ISS. You never know, the crew might be doing the same right back at you.