If you think about it, space is a pretty cool place to be. Very few people ever get a chance to look back down at our blue planet, but there is a fundamental flaw in the experience, isn’t there? Alcohol is forbidden to astronauts.
No party for astronauts?
In 1985, the US Federal Aviation Administration conducted a test that had 17 men do a few shots of vodka – a test group in an altitude simulation chamber and a control group. The idea of the test was to check how alcohol affected their abilities to perform complex tasks including mental maths and more standard tests along the lines of ‘follow the light’.
Long story short, the researchers found there was no difference in impairment between the two groups – alcohol affected the test group the same way it did the control group. So, if you were hoping for some kind of special effect of booze in space, sorry to disappoint you.
The rule against alcohol in space only applies to astronauts though – for personal and private space journeys, booze is A-OK! With civilian space travel being a real possibility over the next few years, Maison Mumm decided to get ahead of the game by solving a problem before it could really crop up – how are people going to get drunk during their space trip?
It’s not all as easy as for us mere earth walkers
The Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar comes in a specially engineered bottle to make drinking in space possible – a normal bottle of bubbly wouldn’t work at all in zero gravity. This special bottle, however, has more engineering in it than some people’s learner cars – the booze itself sits in a compartment at the top with a button-valve release – in order to get it out of the bottle, the bottle is flipped bottom up and the finger-release is pulled.
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This causes the champagne to be poured ‘up’ and out of the bottom part of the bottle as a foam. This foam is then scooped out of the air with long-stemmed, flat glasses to be consumed. The original solution – one similar to how astronauts drink water for example – would have been a pouch with a straw – hardly the kind of experience someone who paid tens of thousands of dollars would want.
Mumm collaborated with the space design agency Spade on their newest product – it was ultimately designed by French designer Octave de Gaulle. Isn’t the bottle a beauty? Now the bottle is ready to be properly tested – in weightlessness. A specially equipped aircraft will take off from the heart of the French champagne region to test the bottle. An Airbus Zero-G will take journalists from several countries through the experience of weightlessness where they can test the floating bubbly. As floating as you’d float in space.
They’ll be flown by a real astronaut – Jean-Francis Clervoy is the owner of the company that will operate the Airbus Zero-G flight for this test. If it all goes well, the first commercial flights into space will probably be accompanied by the space booze – too bad though, that unless you have a way of simulating weightlessness, the experience can’t be enjoyed on the ground!
Photo credit: All images used are owned by Mumm and have been provided as part of a press kit.
Source: Mumm press release
Mel is a UK-based journalist that has been writing about tech, science and video games for a few years now. After studying in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs before she settled on what she really wanted to do – write about the exciting world of technology and the delightfully strange things it sometimes produces.