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Ever wondered what Tang, John Glenn, and NASA have in common? More than you might think.

December 08, 2016

The world is divided into two groups today: Those who can still feel the orange-tinted coating of Tang on their tongue, and millennials.

When asked what they thought Tang (the drink made popular by John Glenn) was, the 20-something set around our office knew it was probably a drink, maybe orange, and likely featured a monkey on the packaging. Two of those three things are (mostly) right.

Tang is a citrus-flavored drink mix that was thought to have been invented by NASA for John Glenn's space flight. In reality, the drink mix was in play for about five years before NASA decided it was worth its weight for a trip to the stars. Before its literal rocket to fame, Tang was relatively unknown. Following the flight, Tang made its way into your grandma's kitchen and your mom's Spiced Tea Mix. Whether you mix tang with apricot-flavored gelatin, iced tea mix, lemonade mix, or enjoy it on its own, it's genearlly stirred into water, mixed well, and enjoyed.

Contrary to popular lore, Tang is sold in a variety of flavors, not just the citrus/orange phenomenon that flavored our childhoods. According to TangToday.com, the definitive site for all flavors of Tang, the good people of Kraft have made almost 50 varieties of Tang, including Multifruit, Orange Banana, and Pina Colada. 

 Tony Ranze/Getty Images

We can't prove that this space suit color wasn't inspired by Tang. #conspiracytheory

In spite of its seemingly huge presence internationally in the powdered drink mix section, Tang fell mostly out of popularity and the general vernacular until December of 2016 when John Glenn, the astronaut who made the drink mix famous died and everyone under the age of 30 simultaneously said, "Ok Google, what is Tang?"

 Oxmoor House

If you remember John Glenn's famous flight, or just want to drink the drink of the stars, whip up this seasonally-perfect spiced tea mix today and pour a little out for the first American astronaut to orbit the earth.

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