On Wednesday, the internet fell in love with this video of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield preparing himself a sandwich in space, or, as Smithsonian magazine puts it, "Spaaaaaaace!" It's easy to see why. The video combines two things the Internet loves: videos with a running time under two-and-a-half minutes and sandwiches.
I love under two-and-a-half-minutes and sandwiches too. I was excited to watch this video.
Too bad it is BULLSHIT.
Hadfield kicks things off by explaining that you can't have bread in space because bread is too crumbly.
Free of the shackles of gravity, loose breadcrumbs would float through the air of the space station indefinitely, answering to no one, existing on their own terms. I think it sounds kind of beautiful—these crumbs, tumbling and turning in an elegant ballet, no longer victims of bread-bound circumstance, living as equals with the humans whose reckless food preparation freed them—like maybe this is what Anne Hathaway was talking about when she said in her Oscar acceptance speech that she hoped some day soon "the misfortunes of Fantine" would be found only "in stories and never more in real life."
But the International Space Station cannot countenance crumbs. The International Space Station has no time for them. So the astronauts make their sandwiches out of tortillas, which is fine.
Hadfield explains to the camera that the astronauts' tortillas are heat-treated and specially packaged in an oxygen-free environment so that they don't grow mold. He assembles his three ingredients—packaged tortilla, squirtable pouch of peanut butter, and squeezy jar of honey—and lets them float in front of him. Fantastic.
At this point, I am ready for something truly astounding to happen. I imagine Hadfield squirting the peanut butter into the air and slamming the tortilla into it like an outfielder catching a ball. I wait for him to squeeze out an amber glob of honey and let it dance in the air while he gives a brief physics lecture.
Instead, Hadfield squeezes the peanut putter and the honey directly onto the tortilla, just like I would here on Earth if I were putting honey and peanut butter on a tortilla for some reason.
That ain't no kinda interesting. That's just a polite dude making a normal sandwich with weird ingredients. If his watch weren't floating periodically jostling itself around his wrist, you wouldn't even know he was in spa[aaaaaa]ce.
If you want to see something cool, watch Hadfield wash his hands.
[h/t Smithsonian magazine]