Moon Rock and Astronaut Ice Cream

Everything looks more futuristic with a dome.

Everything looks more futuristic with a dome.

Yesterday Betsy and I spent a couple hours at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, birthplace of Neil Armstrong. The museum has a wide range of memorabilia from both Armstrong’s early life and the space program in general. Cool items included:

  • Booklets where young Neil recorded his early flights. Dude got his pilot’s license when he was sixteen!
  • Astronaut uniforms, astronaut food, and lots of other fun astronauty things.
  • A postcard with Orville Wright’s autograph. Anyone else noticed that the first man to fly, and the first man on the moon, were both from Ohio? We rock!
Gemini 8

The Gemini 8 spacecraft, flown by Neil Armstrong as part of the ramp-up to the Apollo 11 moon landing.

But the crown jewel of the museum was the Gemini 8 spacecraft, which Armstrong piloted in the first-ever docking of two spacecraft in orbit. Look at that thing, and imagine two people spending days inside of it. I’m reading the autobiography of Mike Collins (Apollo 11 astronaut), who explained that you literally couldn’t get out of your seat, because there was nowhere to go.

A moon rock!!! Turns out they look pretty much like earth rocks.

A moon rock!!! Turns out they look pretty much like earth rocks.

The moon rock was cool too. And you can go inside that white dome, and there’s a 20-minute video focusing mostly on Apollo 11. I never realized how many close calls Armstrong had in his career: cutting his Gemini 8 flight short due to thruster failure, ejecting from a lunar lander test flight just before it was destroyed, and landing the Eagle on the moon with less than 30 seconds of fuel remaining. Guy was intense.

And of course, no trip to the gift shop is complete without astronaut ice cream.

Have you ever eaten ice cream and thought, "I wish this had less flavor and/or moisture"?

Have you ever eaten ice cream and thought, “I wish this had less flavor and/or moisture”?

Not a bad place to visit for a town of 10,000 people.

Got any sweet museums in your area?

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2 responses to “Moon Rock and Astronaut Ice Cream

  1. I am curious now- what exactly does astronaut ice cream taste like? What makes it different from normal ice cream? Perhaps you can satisfy my curiosity?

    • It’s freeze-dried, so it’s room temperature and solid, not cold at all. As it sits in your mouth, it begins to melt. It does taste a bit like regular ice cream, but with less flavor, not creamy and not especially satisfying. I probably wouldn’t buy it more than once.

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