1985 design for Pepsi Cola can made for astronauts

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/01/1985-design-for-pepsi-cola-can.html


Looks like a can of shaving cream-- did they give up on the plan rather than pay Gillette to license it?


After all that engineering effort it turned out that astronauts quickly realized that it’s a really bad idea to imbibe carbonated beverages in microgravity because it’s nigh impossible to burp when gases don’t rise “up,” so you end up with an uncomfortable accumulation of gas in your digestive system.


That’s clearly a Pepsi douche, right?

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Came in to say just that!
Also, wouldn’t the gas bubbles be bigger in such low-g environment? I’m bloating up just contemplating this discomfort!
Didn’t Mary Roach address this in her most excellent book Packing for Mars?


Yes, that’s where I first read about it. One of those things about space that seems obvious in retrospect.


That cap reminds me more of Redi-Wip.


Just googled and was surprised to find that the Space Shuttle operated at one standard atmosphere (14.7 psi)

I had assumed it would be operated at a lower pressure (because it would be easier to do it that way) which would have made the beverages relatively more fizzy.

And this is what happens to fizzy drinks in a high air pressure environment…


Maybe it was just easier to conduct some of those microgravity-based experiments on the shuttle when they didn’t have to control for the extra variable of the lower atmospheric pressure?


That’s it alright! I just googled ISS and got this…

Normal air pressure on the ISS is 101.3 kPa (14.7 psi); the same as at sea level on Earth. “While members of the ISS crew could stay healthy even with the pressure at a lower level, the equipment on the Station is very sensitive to pressure. If the pressure were to drop too far, it could cause problems with the Station equipment.”


The other story I seem to remember hearing at the time was that there was no way to cool the cans properly before use, and that the astronauts understandably weren’t too keen on lukewarm hyper-fizzy soda of either brand, which may be one of the reasons the whole business was quietly swept under the carpet.


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