There is a very famous (although incorrectly attributed) quote that goes; “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Champagne maker G.H Mumm seems to have taken a rather large page of out this author’s book and decided to create new champagne that no one knew they needed yet – Champagne specifically for Zero Gravity!
Disclaimer: I didn’t actually realise you couldn’t drink Champagne in space – or actually I never thought about it. Who would? These guys apparently!
Their new bubble, called ‘Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar’ was created in partnership with a Space focussed design company, to overcome the challenges of opening and pouring a high-pressure bottle in a low-to-no gravity environment. And of course for a great marketing stunt.
I was really curious how this actually works – so I did some digging to figure it out. The Grand Cordon Stellar’s bottle is specially engineered, basically to make floating champagne foam. Mumm claims the main challenge was getting any liquid out of the bottle in zero gravity – therefore the very complicated bottle was created. I’m also pretty sure popping a high-pressured cork in space wasn’t going to go down smoothly either but they do not mention that part. The special bottle uses the champagne’s own pressure to expel the liquid through its internal pipe and into a ring frame around the top of the bottle where it is concentrated into many small droplets – creating a floating foamy collection of bubbles, ready to be enjoyed by the discerning space traveller.
They’ve also created specialised ‘glasses’ for our future floating selves to catch the floating champagne bubbles that the space barman hurls in our direction. The glasses are roughly 5cm across and are ever so slightly concave to allow the bubble to sit neatly on top and allow us a single slurp.
Coco-cola actually did pretty much the exact same thing in 1985 with their coca-cola space can that worked in very much the same way – although far less complicated.
Sadly for future space revellers – I should probably mention that drinks on stations like the ISS cannot be cooled. So look forward to lukewarm champagne. Also, unless the special bottle removes all carbon-dioxide from the wine, you can expect a very uncomfortable digestive process if you drink too much – thanks to the fact that in zero gravity, carbon-dioxide gas is not let out of the top of the bottle like on earth and more gas is diluted in the liquid itself – which will make its way into gut and thanks again to zero gravity won’t really know which way to go!