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Astronaut ice cream went to space 1 time.

In 1968, long before it became a staple of museum gift shops, a vanilla version of the freeze-dried treat accompanied the Apollo 7 crew into orbit. Those bite-size cubes served a practical purpose: “It was a high-calorie food,” says John Knight, a former volunteer curator for the historical archives of Whirlpool Corporation. (The appliance company developed the technology used to preserve the ice cream.) Logistically, the lightweight yet energy-dense dessert was ideal for space travel. But its chalky texture left much to be desired, which is why its maiden voyage was also its last. Thanks to onboard freezers, any ice cream consumed in space since then has been enjoyed in its earthly form. 

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