General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Can astronauts in the space station get actual ice (cubes) ?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30580points) June 19th, 2020

Or is everything chilled / refrigerated, but not ice?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

Well, it would be difficult to do an actual cube because of microgravity. They could do an ice sphere.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Just place a vacuum container of water filled ice trays on the shady exterior of the ship—cubes in minutes.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well they might not get actual cube-shaped, but I doubt ice would be much of an issue. As to whether or not they do it, I have no idea.

Caravanfan's avatar

If it’s more than a passing question I know someone who absolutely knows the answer.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You could do the cubes by simply confining the water with only enough space to allow for expansion.

cookieman's avatar

Now I want ice spheres.

Patty_Melt's avatar

They have experimented with thawing ice cubes in space, but using ice cubes would have no application, because the beverages are fully contained. There is no open container with which to receive ice.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Well they could store the beverages in a container filled with ice, like beers in a cooler. But yeah, there’s little point. Somehow I doubt that chilling items is much of an issue in space.

ragingloli's avatar

Icecube-tray+freezer+centrifuge=icecubes IN SPAAAAAAAACEEEEE!

SEKA's avatar

Here is 11:29 minutes of how they do the things they do on the ISS

This one is more detailed at 50:31 minutes

There drinks are in sealed bags with sissy sticks. Water sometimes bubbles out and floats around the station where they grab it and pull it into their mouth, so it doesn’t look like ice is even a factor for them. I think the one guy said that they have a heat station but no refrigeration station so cold drinks doesn’t seem to be very high priority for them. In none of this did they mention ice, so I don’t think that they are concerned about it. One thing for sure is that they never make a glass of water or any other drink. They do make a pouch of the drink complete with a straw. They also don’t eat with a fork or spoon because their food will float away

Although the longer video was somewhat boring, it is also very informative as to how these guys live

Around the 33:00 minute mark, it shows him making him a drink of water and it also showed their mini refrigerator that holds their sauces

The first vid is pretty generic and more for little kids where the second is more for those who seriously want to know

RocketGuy's avatar

The Space Station has coolers that could make ice if they wanted, but iced drinks are not really enjoyable in 0 g see:

But it seems that the Dragon capsule had coolers for taking experimental materials up to or down from orbit. On at least one occasion, they brought up ice cream:

SEKA's avatar

If iced drinks are not enjoyable in 0 g, why would ice cream be any more enjoyable?

RocketGuy's avatar

Ice cream doesn’t float around randomly the way an ice cube would float around in a drink bag. It would be a hassle to make ice, put it in a bag, then add their drink. They can just put their drink bags into their coolers if they wanted cold drinks. No ice needed.

LostInParadise's avatar

I wonder if the ice cube would interfere with drinking. Without gravity, the ice cube no longer floats. It could show up anywhere, and if you are using a straw, for example, it might block it.

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