NASA strictly prohibits alcohol for its astronauts: therefore, it is not drunk on the International Space Station. But a group of cosmonauts has been planted, over time, against the measure.
They gave their reasons and, for many, they ring valid.
Let us remember the position of NASA thanks to the words of Daniel Huot, spokesman for the Johnson Space Center: “The use of alcohol and other volatile compounds is controlled on the ISS, due to the impacts that their compounds can have on the recovery system of station water.
In addition, there is the concern that someone spills a drink on the equipment. And, much worse, that he ends up losing the notion of the responsibility that falls to him.
The BBC, who spoke with Huot, He made this comparison: “We don’t allow car drivers or airplane pilots to be drunk and in charge of their vehicles, so it’s no surprise that the same rules apply to astronauts inside a $150 billion space station.” , traveling through a vacuum at almost 28 thousand kilometers per hour.
Point and end to the discussion for NASA.
But a group of cosmonauts over time, whose stories were told by Russia Beyond, He has given his positive opinion to the consumption of alcohol.
This is how each cosmonaut carried alcohol into space
In the days of the Soviet Union, cosmonaut Igor Volk (1937-2017) described a plan to bring cognac aboard the Soyuz. He was running in 1984.
It was the perfect plan. “My partner Volodya Djanibekov and I thought of everything. One week before the launch we ate nothing except bread and tea, and we lost almost 2 kilos. We packed everything in cellophane bags and when we were dressed we put the bags in the spacesuits.”
They also carried alcohol in a thick book: “You would remove the lid and, instead of the pages, you would put a bottle. It fit like a liter and a half. The most important thing is that it didn’t bubble.”
Another cosmonaut, Georgy Grechko (1931-2017), recounted that he carried the cache in special suits for zero gravity.
“Every day before bed we could each drink (the equivalent of) 8.5 grams, but we managed to drink only half the bottle. We just couldn’t drink the rest,” Grechko said.
“The liquid has the same zero weight as air, so it doesn’t spill. And if it is squeezed out, it just mixes with air, it turns into foam. That’s why we had to leave half of the flask where we found it.”
The great benefit of taking in space
Key point in favor of alcohol: relieves tension. The cosmonaut Valery Ryumin (1939-2022) recounted: “Once, before takeoff, I bought 12 bottles of Armenian cognac, which I poured into soft plastic bags with screw caps”.
“The little sip of cognac is called bul’ka. On Earth it is 20 grams, which is nothing”, said Ryumin.
“We had a difficult day and the next day, another experiment. When we get into our sleeping cases, we don’t have any dreams. But the bul’ka saves you.”
The cosmonaut closed: “The droplet of alcohol has a fantastic effect in space: it calms you down, takes away the tension. You fall asleep quickly and in the morning you wake up invigorated. This is better than a sedative, which you quickly become addicted to.”
“I am convinced that it is necessary to legalize alcohol in space in small quantities, for example, as a sedative.”
Will the ban ever end?