Why Astronauts Are Banned From Getting Drunk in Space

March 3, 2017 5:00 am
Discovery why astronauts are specifically forbidden from being drunk in space. (amdandy/Getty Images)

Astronauts clearly have enough professional stress to deserve to unwind with a beer.

But those frosty beverages may as well be in another galaxy.

NASA forbids getting drunk or even having a drink. Indeed, the space agency bans all products even containing alcohol, such as mouthwash. (And yes, being trapped in a small space with a bunch of people who don’t have mouthwash is another reason a space traveler might want a tipple.)

There is a technical reason for such a sweeping ban. NASA worried that any alcohol could damage the International Space Station’s water recovery system. The agency chose to handle this risk by eliminating even the potential for astronauts to drink/spill alcohol, the BBC reported.

There’s also a more human component to the policy. A scientific debate is raging over whether drinking in space gets someone drunk faster, based on the higher altitude.’

The result is astronauts in space must be stone-cold sober, if only to prevent damaging any equipment during the world’s most expensive game of beer pong. To read more about why astronauts aren’t allowed to be drunk, click here.


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