clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Corned Beef Sandwich Almost Caused an Intergalactic Incident

And is now preserved in resin.

Raymond Cunningham/Flickr

A 50-year-old corned beef sandwich, preserved in resin, sits on a table at the Virgil I. Gus Grissom Memorial Museum in Mitchell, Indiana. The ordinary-looking sandwich is a memento from space. In 1965, a young astronaut named John Young snuck the sandwich into his space suit shortly before the launch of Gemini 3, NASA's first two-man space mission.

The seemingly innocuous prank landed Young in front of Congress. Bringing the sandwich — technically contraband — into space could have endangered the entire mission. Space food is coated and broken into bite-sized pieces because without gravity, crumbs can go everywhere. After Young took a bite of the sandwich, bits of bread and meat got into his eyes and floated throughout the cabin. They didn't cause any real damage, and the mission was a success, but no sandwich has made it into space since. Still, it made for a good story, and so an identical sandwich was purchased and preserved for infamy. Long live corned beef.

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day