I don’t plan to write much about NASA or space exploration on this blog because A) I work for a NASA contractor and I’m not sure what kind of comments can get me in trouble and B) I don’t want to.
But a note on my “Year in Space” desk calendar for tomorrow caught my attention and prompted a google and wikipedia search. It says that on June 20, 1985, “NASA announces cola wars will take place on shuttle mission STS-51F.”
Cola wars? Sure enough, Coke vs. Pepsi in space. According to wikipedia, “The Carbonated Beverage Dispenser Evaluation was an experiment where both Coca-Cola and Pepsi tried to make their drinks available to astronauts. Both fizzed excessively in microgravity.”
More info on carbonated beverages in space from this space.com article: “Though NASA labeled it the Carbonated Beverage Dispenser Evaluation (CBDE), consider it the taste test to end all taste tests. The ‘experiment’ included specially designed soda ‘cans,’ produced by both Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Though the crew classified the experiment as a failure citing the zero-G environment and the lack of refrigeration, Coca-Cola would fly twice again using an improved dispenser and pressurized glasses — ultimately spending more than $750,000 in the process. Pepsi, on the other hand, would later film a commercial aboard the Mir space station in 1996 for a reported $5 million.”
If this has piqued your interest at all as to why coke and microgravity don’t mix, try this Suds in Space feature. It’s food ( ice cold Coca-Cola) for thought.