The following discussion ensued:
The whole episode lasted for 30 seconds, and the corned beef tasting session lasted for only 10 of those seconds. Apparently the sandwich didn't cope very well in microgravity conditions.
Needless to say, NASA and Congress were not amused.
A Storm in a Sandwich
It transpired that another member of the Gemini Project, Walter Schirra (who had a reputation as being the joker amongst the astronaut team) wasn't flying on that day and he was able to take a trip to the astronauts' favorite deli in Cocoa Beach, Fla., to pick up the contraband.
This is where the corned beef sandwich began its extraterrestrial journey; from Schirra's purchase to Young's pocket, into space and then back to earth at an Appropriations Committee meeting.
At that meeting, Sen. George E. Shipley blasted NASA: "My thought is that after you spend a great deal of money and time, to have one of the astronauts slip a sandwich aboard this vehicle, frankly, is just a little disgusting."
The media didn't see the funny side either as the Washington Post published the headline "Two Astronauts Team up as Comics."