Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Corned Beef Sandwich That Ignited a Scandal In Congress

Half a century ago on the morning of the launch of Gemini 3, NASA’s first-ever two-man space mission, Pilot John Young brought aboard a corned beef sandwich that ignited a scandal in Congress. Young had tucked it into his pocket as a joke. When he went to take a bite of the sandwich it began to fall apart and crumbs went everywhere. The food NASA had sent along on Gemini 3 used a gelatin coating to prevent such a thing from happening. All of NASA’s Gemini missions were intended to evaluate various details of sending astronauts into space—including the beginnings of NASA’s specially designed space food.

The corned beef sandwich incident led to a House of Representatives appropriations committee investigation. Representative George Shipley of Illinois said, “My thought is that…to have one of the astronauts slip a sandwich aboard the vehicle, frankly, is just a little bit disgusting.

More:  First We Feast

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