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  Cosmonaut: "Yes, we resorted to alcohol..."

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Author Topic:   Cosmonaut: "Yes, we resorted to alcohol..."
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-14-2010 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
MSNBC's Alan Boyle reports on his Cosmic Log blog about Soyuz TM-25 cosmonaut Alexander Lazutkin's recollection of imbibing on orbit.
On Monday, Lazutkin discussed the history of drinking in space with journalists at Moscow's Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, where he's the deputy director. "During prolonged space missions, especially at the beginning of the Space Age, we had alcoholic drinks in the cosmonauts' rations," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying Monday. "This was cognac, which the doctors recommended for use. We used it to stimulate our immune system and on the whole to keep our organisms in tone."

Later, a type of ginseng liqueur (literally, "liqueur from the eleutherococcus") was occasionally consumed, he said...

"Yes, we resorted to alcohol during our flight. But this was by authorization of the Ministry of Public Health," he said. RIA Novosti quoted Lazutkin as saying that alcohol was "recommended for neutralizing the harmful effect of the atmosphere" -- though it's not clear whether he was referring to the air or the working conditions.


Posts: 4437
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-14-2010 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Only a matter of time before we see the first distillery in space (unless Soviet/Russian on-orbit exploits haven't already produced the first "moonshine").


Posts: 1505
From: Bluffton IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 10-15-2010 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll drink to that. Nostrovia!

New Member


posted 10-15-2010 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Byeman   Click Here to Email Byeman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While working Mir Shuttle missions, I had the opportunity to handle and stow in the Spacehab module two types of sealed packages that were sent up to the cosmonauts. One was the Cosmonaut Family Package and the other was the Cosmonaut Psychological Support Package. One had candy in it and the other had liquids and magazines in it. I don't think I have to describe anything further.


Posts: 2212
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 10-15-2010 07:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe Apollo 8 had some brandy stored aboard to accompany their Christmas dinner. Frank Borman apparently said "No" and they returned to Earth with the astronauts. If I remember correctly? Lovell auctioned his a few years ago.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-15-2010 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You remember correctly. Heritage Galleries Oct. 2008 auction catalog cites "How Apollo Flew to the Moon" by David Woods:
Additionally, the Apollo 8 crew found that three small bottles of brandy had been packed among their Christmas food rations. Borman, however, pulled rank and said they could not partake of the brandy until they got home.
NASA considered stocking Skylab with wine, specifically Paul Masson Rare Cream Sherry (see page 170 in The Astronaut's Cookbook).

Ultimately, the decision was made on Aug. 10, 1972 (SP-4011) to not to fly the wine.

MSC Skylab Program Manager Kenneth S. Kleinknecht said there was no basic requirement for including wine in the Skylab menu. In vetoing its use he said that the beverage was not necessary for nourishment or to provide a balanced [277] diet; it was not a fully developed menu item and would involve an unnecessary expense; it would aggravate a minor galley stowage problem; its use would invalidate the experimental results of Experiment M071, mineral balance; and it would result in adverse criticism for the Skylab Program.


Posts: 769
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 10-15-2010 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I read somewhere that Borman stopped Lovell and Anders from drinking the brandy because he didn't want it getting the blame if anything went wrong.

I can just imagine the head line,

"Astronauts fined for being drunk whilst driving - around the moon!"


Posts: 867
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 07-16-2011 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first flown alcohol that I'm sure of was a mini (e.g. airplane sized) Cutty Sark whiskey that Cooper and Rathmann smuggled aboard Sigma 7. Schirra drank it as soon as he could aboard the recovery ship. He was amused by the concept of how the doctors would react to alcohol in his blood, so he clearly took it before the post flight blood draw.


Posts: 5952
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 08-04-2011 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's also the story of French CNES-naut Patrick Baudry who presumably carried a bottle of French wine onboard Space Shuttle Discovery during STS-51G in 1985... And brought it back unopened, just to have a bottle flown in space

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