The life span of ice cream is generally 8 to 11 months in a home freezer on Earth, depending on the temperature fluctuations that regularly occur as it is taken in and out of its natural habitat. Under these conditions, the ice cream melts and freezes and melts and refreezes, causing ice crystals to grow and spread, causing an unsatisfying cold burning effect on the tongue and breathe if you were to eat it. The ice cream then no longer possesses the idyllic properties that make it more “cream” than ice. It is, in essence, no longer ice cream. There is a fine and perfect balance that makes ice cream so distinctive and irresistible. Adding “survival in space” to that equation only furthers this rare complexity.
Ice cream in its dry froze state, can probably live for 2 to 8 years, again depending on how much it is exposed to the elements, or crushed apart. We can now ask the question, and perhaps gain an answer, “What is the survival rate of a speck of freeze dried ice cream drifting in space?”
Well, no one can really say…But one thing is for sure, the adventure it has is infinite, epic and timeless!
For the sake of storytelling, and its probable need for appropriating the concept of time, I will say it was approximately 1 million light years later when the speck of “eternally ice crystal-less ice cream” found its way into yet another life changing chasm which quickly swallowed it up and projected it onto a path towards a future only the past will know.
It was a vast cloud of “Dry Ice” that consumed the weightless bit…Lurking underneath the swirling mysterious mist resided the radical transformation of the solid state of carbon dioxide becoming a gas. Essentially, solidified CO2 is a natural freezer, and apparently, it can be found in space somewhere (??!!). Non-freeze dried ice cream loves solidified CO2, as 10 pounds of it can keep a gallon of regular ice cream frozen for nearly 2 days (or 6 thousand light seconds), with no need for electricity!
Not that our precious morsel of Neapolitan Ice Cream needed the dry ice to keep itself frozen, but this phenomenon was as close to a home it has felt ever since the shiny silvery packet that once enveloped it was slice opened by two opposable thumbs back on the coned-shaped space craft. It was, as a matter of fact, made an “Icecreamonaut” in a vacuum of dry ice and ethanol alcohol in the process of converting it from a regular “meltable” ice cream to an ice cream that can withstand any environment. And that food science breakthrough enabled the rare occasion for it to be the first “Ice Cream” in space! It was fine—it was happy, so it readily joined this hospitable mass of gaseous solids, and settled in for the (probably) long ride, on this fantastical floating road…
Oh, and what a ride it was! Joy quickly filled its air pockets and burst forth forty two fold itself. The billowing incubator of expanding astro-life sparked a bloom, spurting a growth far beyond its apparent mass threshold. Its open and radical molecules found a companion in the atomic charges present and duplicated themselves, forming new freeze dried ice cream structures upon old structures as fast as ice cream can melt (on Earth). Now, on this intergalactic roller coaster, this innocuous particulate of sweetness was becoming a force greater than it ever dreamed.