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Breaking Boundaries: How Coca-Cola Became the First Soda in Space

How Coca-Cola became the first soda in space

Since its founding in 1886, Coca-Cola has established itself as an iconic brand in the soft drink industry. With a global consumption rate of 1.7 billion servings per day and a value of $33.2 billion, Coca-Cola is undeniably the world’s best-selling soft drink (via Beverage Daily). But what sets Coca-Cola apart and has contributed to its success? One significant achievement that often goes unnoticed is its status as the first soda to be consumed in space.

The birth of the “space can

In 1984, Coca-Cola researchers embarked on a groundbreaking mission to develop a special container that could hold their beverage and be enjoyed by astronauts in the weightless environment of space. This innovative creation became known as the “space can” (via the National Air and Space Museum). The can’s design was carefully crafted to maintain Coca-Cola’s signature effervescence in zero gravity.

A race between Coke and Pepsi

The quest to be the first soft drink consumed in space became a fierce competition between Coca-Cola and its rival, Pepsi. Both companies recognized the immense marketing and branding opportunities that would come with such an achievement. They set out to create a product that could withstand the challenges of space travel and keep astronauts refreshed.

Coca-Cola’s Triumph

In 1985, Coca-Cola won the race to space. The company’s beverage was officially consumed on a mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger, according to the Coca-Cola Company. This historic moment solidified Coca-Cola’s pioneering status and further enhanced its global reputation.

Exploring new frontiers with Starlight

Coca-Cola’s innovation and commitment to pushing boundaries did not stop with the first trip to space. In 2022, the company launched a new flavor called “Starlight,” which aims to capture the essence of the galaxy (via Space). With a reddish hue and a taste reminiscent of stargazing around a campfire, Starlight offers consumers a unique and celestial experience. This flavor combination is a testament to Coca-Cola’s continued efforts to surprise and delight its consumers.

Coca-Cola’s Enduring Legacy

As Coca-Cola continues to experiment with new and unusual flavors through its Coca-Cola Creations platform, the Company remains committed to preserving the timeless appeal of its traditional Coca-Cola recipe (via Business Wire). This commitment ensures that consumers of all ages can enjoy the classic taste they have come to love, while having the opportunity to explore exciting and adventurous flavor options.
In closing, Coca-Cola’s journey to become the first soda in space is a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to innovation, strategic branding and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Through the invention of the “space can” and subsequent triumph aboard the Challenger space shuttle, Coca-Cola cemented its place in history. As the Company continues to explore new frontiers with flavors like Starlight, Coca-Cola maintains its position as a global leader and iconic symbol of refreshment and enjoyment.


Coca-Cola becoming the first soda to be consumed in space is historic because it showcases the brand’s innovation and ability to adapt to unique environments. It also solidifies Coca-Cola’s position as a pioneer in the beverage industry.

How did Coca-Cola develop a can for consumption in space?

In 1984, Coca-Cola researchers developed a special container known as the “space can. This cylindrical can was designed to maintain the beverage’s effervescence in an anti-gravity environment, allowing astronauts to enjoy Coca-Cola in the weightless environment of space.

Who were Coca-Cola’s competitors in the race to bring the first soda to space?

Pepsi was Coca-Cola’s main competitor in the race to be the first soda consumed in space. Both companies recognized the marketing and branding opportunities associated with this achievement and worked to create a product suitable for astronaut consumption.

When was Coca-Cola first consumed in space?

Coca-Cola was officially consumed on a mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1985, marking the brand’s historic entry into space. This significant milestone further cemented Coca-Cola’s reputation and status as a global leader in the soft drink industry.

What is the new flavor that Coca-Cola has introduced in conjunction with space exploration?

In 2022, Coca-Cola will launch a new flavor called Starlight. This flavor aims to capture the essence of the galaxy and provide consumers with a unique and celestial taste experience. With a reddish hue and added notes reminiscent of stargazing around a campfire, Starlight celebrates Coca-Cola’s legacy as the first soda consumed in space.

Will Coca-Cola continue to innovate and introduce new flavors?

Yes, Coca-Cola continues to innovate and explore new flavor possibilities through its Coca-Cola Creations platform. While preserving the classic Coca-Cola recipe, the Company is introducing exciting and unusual flavors to appeal to adventurous consumers seeking new taste experiences.

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