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One small step for man, one giant leap for drinking

Tim Nelson
September 13, 2018

The Soviets launched the first satellite into space, and the US sent men to the moon, but that doesn’t mean the two Cold War rivals have a monopoly on aerospace innovation. A new partnership between French companies has advanced— perhaps even revolutionized—space travel as we know it, and in probably the most French way possible.

In collaboration with designer Octave de Gaulle, France’s Mumm champagne house has readied what they claim is the first bottle of bubbly built to withstand the rigors of space travel and the complexities of a zero-gravity environment. The result of three years of testing, this space-age champagne utilizes a dual-chambered bottle: the upper portion houses the wine, while the lower section uses a valve that controls the gradual release of the champagne’s carbon dioxide with a twist of the fingers.

This week, it’ll be put to the test on an Airbus Zero-G flight taking off from Reims, the heart of France’s champagne country. The plane will perform a series of maneuvers designed to simulate the weightlessness of space for up to 20 seconds at a time, allowing invited testers to scoop the foamlike champagne into a glass, eventually dissolving to liquid in their mouths.

Mumm’s ingenious invention isn’t designed for parties on the International Space Station (booze is banned up there because real astronauts need to be sober to do science stuff), but for the ultra-wealthy civilians who could soon launch into orbit on commercial space flights. With billionaires like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos pouring their exorbitant wealth into vanity spacefaring projects, it’s only a matter of time before the rich leave the earth’s atmosphere behind.

Luckily, now they won’t have to eschew basic creature comforts like champagne while watching earth from afar. For the rest of us mere mortals, foam champagne could be pretty cool too, I guess.  

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