"Most of NASA runs on coffee." How coffee has played a role at NASA for 50 years

NASA has run on coffee for over 50 years

If anyone knows the importance of a fresh cup of joe to kickstart your morning, it's the hardworking team at NASA. No matter if you're an engineer or an astronaut on the International Space Station, coffee is a must.

On this week's Fueled by Death Cast interview, former NASA Chief Scientist Al Bowers said that "most of NASA runs on coffee," and we can see why. (See the clip from his interview at the end of this blog, and tune into the full interview here or wherever you listen to podcasts.

A black and white photo of former astronaut Michael Collins holding a coffee cup while walking into NASAiPhoto: Michael Collins, an astronaut from Apollo 11, walking into NASA a week before the launch. Photo courtesy of his Twitter.

The strides made in space exploration have been (pun intended) astronomical — and coffee has definitely fueled NASA employees through sleepless nights, all in the name of furthering what we know about our universe.

Even on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, there's a news story floating around (again, pun intended) about astronaut Michael Collins, who literally drank coffee during the moon landing while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. 

“I had this beautiful little domain. It was all mine. I was the emperor, the captain of it, and it was quite commodious. I had warm coffee, even,” Collins said in an interview with the New York Times

Astronaut Donald Pettit and another astronaut drink coffee in space from a zero gravity cup he designed
Photo: KGW8

We've even seen astronaut Don Pettit CREATE a specific coffee mug designed for space, and we even had the opportunity to fuel the astronauts on the International Space Station with our coffee after retired astronaut and artist Nicole Stott said all she craved after a spacewalk was a strong cup of coffee. (And, in case you missed it, we're going back as part of a school experiment.)

Below, we've compiled some of the coolest things we found about coffee and space to celebrate the Apollo 11 50th anniversary.

 

 

 

 

 

 Related: Learn about Death Wish Coffee going to the International Space Station

WATCH THE VIDEO FROM OUR INTERVIEW WITH AL BOWERS: