Departing Astronauts Leave Sticky Brown Surprise in Space Station

Sticky Surprise

We don't know if this counts as a snack emergency — but departing astronauts left some peanut butter in the airlock entrance of the International Space Station on Wednesday, CBS News reports.

We hope nobody's allergic.

As the SpaceX Dragon capsule backed away from the orbital outpost for its return mission back to Earth, CBS News reports that mission commander Michael López-Alegría was captured on audio telling the remaining ISS crew that "there is some peanut butter waiting for you in the airlock entrance."

No word if the peanut butter was smeared on any precious space equipment or contained inside a jar, but the lack of further updates makes us assume that the departing astronauts had safely secured the nutty spread from gumming up the works inside the station.

Pass It On

As reports, peanut butter is a surprisingly popular and highly nutritious snack for astronauts. The sticky concoction was reportedly on the menu during Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s as well as NASA's Shuttle program since the early 1980s.

The other notable thing about this mission besides the aforementioned nutty surprise is that it's the third fully commercial visit to the space station via a SpaceX capsule, according to NPR. All three trips were chartered by Axiom Space, a commercial outfit based in Houston, Texas.

The SpaceX capsule, which had left the ISS on Wednesday, safely splashed down off the coast of Florida with López-Alegría and three other crew members on board on Friday after completing its three-week mission.

While on the space station, the crew performed over 30 experiments while also studying the impact of space travel on their own bodies.

The mission was also emblematic of the ever-increasing overlap between commercial ventures and NASA, which has led to some uncomfortable moments such as NASA officials having to comment on alleged drug use at SpaceX.

More on space exploration: SpaceX Signs Deal to Launch Private Space Station