Ever wonder why astronauts can't consume soft drinks in space? Turns out it's not because they don't like the drinks, but because the gases outside the stratosphere present unsuspected dangers on Earth.
The hidden challenges of astronaut life
Being an astronaut is a dream for many, but behind this fascinating profession lies an intense preparation and challenges. Feeding, sleeping, bathing… All human necessities become challenges in space. Discover here the surprising reasons why astronauts must avoid burping at all costs.
The surprising consequences of a burp in space
Gravity, a crucial force for our digestive system
In space, air, food and liquids in the astronauts' stomachs float together like bubbles because of the lack of gravity. This can cause strange reactions in the human body. According to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, if you burp in space, you will vomit in your mouth.
The health and safety hazards of gas
In the confined and pressurized space of a space shuttle, flammable gases are considered a hazard. They can also pose serious hygiene problems. This is why experts strongly recommend a healthy and digestible diet for the well-being of the crew. Carbonated drinks are therefore forbidden on board.
The quest for a suitable diet for astronauts
The importance of a healthy and digestible diet
Although it is not possible to burp in space, astronauts can still have gases in their digestive system depending on their diet and metabolism. They are able to expel it in the same way as on Earth. Chris Hadfield admits that if there is no burping, the intestinal gases take over.
Foods to avoid to limit gas
In the 1960s, scientists began to consider the impact of diet on gas production and conducted experiments to determine which space diet would produce the least burping and flatulence. Beans and other foods known to cause gas, such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, were removed from the astronauts' menu.
Attempts to introduce soft drinks into space
The case of Coca Cola and Pepsi
Robert Frost, an engineer specializing in spacecraft operations, orbital mechanics and guidance systems, recalls on Quora that cans of Coca Cola and Pepsi were flown on a space shuttle. “In 1985, we flew special cans from the manufacturers as an experiment aboard the space shuttle and in 1996, we flew a Coca Cola dispenser.
The problems with soft drinks in space
However, there are some problems with soft drinks in space. In microgravity, the light gas bubbles do not rise to the surface of the liquid and do not escape. They remain mixed with the liquid. This means that astronauts would consume much more gas when drinking a soda in space than on Earth. Of course, this experiment was only performed once.
In conclusion, the challenges and dangers of gas in space have led experts to ban soft drinks and adapt the diet of astronauts. Life in space is far from easy, and even the most innocuous acts, such as burping, can have surprising and potentially dangerous consequences.
- The hidden challenges of astronaut life
- The surprising consequences of a burp in space
- Gravity, a crucial force for our digestive system
- The health and safety hazards of gas
- The quest for a suitable diet for astronauts
- The importance of a healthy and digestible diet
- Foods to avoid to limit gas
- Attempts to introduce soft drinks into space
- The case of Coca Cola and Pepsi
- The problems with soft drinks in space
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