Space champagne: Mumm unveils high-tech bottle for astronauts

NASA says carbonated beverages are "a foamy mess" in space.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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This champagne bottle is out of this world.

Maison Mumm

Carbonated beverages don't fare well in space. But that hasn't deterred French bubbly maker Maison Mumm from figuring out how to serve champagne in microgravity, thanks to a specialized bottle and serving glass. It's called the Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar Project.

"The bubbles of carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages aren't buoyant in a weightless environment, so they remain randomly distributed throughout the fluid, even after swallowing," says NASA. "This means that carbonated beverages including soft drinks and beer may become a foamy mess during space travel." The space agency notes the bubbles go right through an astronaut's digestive system rather than being burped out. 

The Mumm bottle is a nifty bit of engineering created in collaboration with space-design agency Spade. "The big design challenge for Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar was actually getting the liquid out of the bottle," says Spade founder Octave de Gaulle.

The bottle is made from glass, but contains a mechanism inside that concentrates the champagne into a droplet of bubbles, which is collected by a ring positioned outside the opening. The champagne can float in zero gravity and be scooped into a special glass for serving. Mumm says this foamy experience magnifies and intensifies the wine's taste.

Mumm plans to formally introduce the bottle in September, saying it'll soon be served to people taking zero-gravity airplane flights conducted by Air Zero G. Mumm already tested the bottle on a flight and it worked as planned.

It's possible the astronauts on the International Space Station may one day raise a toast with French bubbly. Mumm says "discussions are in progress to supply it to future space missions and commercial space flights."

Mumm's space champagne could end up being a big hit with tourists, like the people who'd pay $9.5 million to stay in this luxury space hotel. Cheers!

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