Astronauts Tell How They Smuggled Alcohol Into Space Despite NASA’s No Booze Rule

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 06 Dec 2020 18:02
PA and Pixabay

If you’ve ever wondered what activities astronauts get up to during the months – and sometimes years – they spend at the International Space Station, NASA would tell you that boozing is not one of them.

But, according to recent revelation, that’s not strictly true. In fact, it’s not true at all.


It turns out that many astronauts enjoy a good knees-up just as much as the rest of us. I mean, they are still humans, after all.

Astronauts Tell How They Smuggled Alcohol Into Space Despite NASA's No Booze RulePA Images

‘NASA will tell you there is no alcohol aboard the International Space Station,’ NASA astronaut Anderson told Chris Carberry, author of Alcohol in Space.

‘As a person who lived there for five months, I’ll tell you that’s bogus.’


According to Supercluster, Carberry revealed that the Russian space programme is even more prone to turning a blind eye to a cheeky beverage in space, with cosmonauts regularly smuggling brandy on board their space shuttles.

‘They’ve smuggled bottles of cognac in hollowed-out books, filled up plastic meal containers with booze and mislabelled them as juice, and even gone on strict diets before launch so they could smuggle bottles in their spacesuits and still make weight requirements,’ he wrote.

Astronauts Tell How They Smuggled Alcohol Into Space Despite NASA's No Booze RulePixabay

But, in actual fact, it’s not just rebellious astronauts who taking their tipples into space, as it turns out there’s currently a number of experiments currently testing what happens to alcohol once it enters space.


In November last year, a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket deposited a dozen bottles of red Bordeaux wine at the ISS, in a bid to explore how the space environment affects wine. The wine will be brought back to Earth soon, so a team of renowned researchers can test the microgravity effects on the alcohol.

The next experiment will see the researchers sending up a handful of vine calluses, which is the white tissue that forms on cut grapevines, to start new vines. The calluses will be placed in a salty petri dish to see if they can be trained to handle surviving in a salty environment, to explore their resilience.

Meanwhile, as companies like SpaceX attempt to plan ahead for civilisation on Mars and the moon, efforts are being made to ensure that astronauts who spend long periods of time in space can enjoy the home comforts of booze, for the sake of their psychological well-being.

Astronauts Tell How They Smuggled Alcohol Into Space Despite NASA's No Booze RulePexels

‘Being French, we have a particular relationship to food and alcohol, and I truly think that it’s critical to socialisation and how we connect as human beings,’ Nicolas Gaume, CEO of Space Cargo Unlimited, explained.

‘In space, wine and alcohol, in general, can recreate the type of connections that we have here on Earth.’

However, as it stands, and until further research is done, the rules remain the same. Alcohol is officially banned because of its main ingredient; ethanol. It’s feared the volatile compound could cause havoc in the sensitive environment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read


Met Police Review Leaked Video Of Downing Street Staff Discussing Christmas Party

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Science, Alcohol, International Space Station, NASA


  1. Supercluster