Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Coke in space
Name: dan
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
If you have an unopened can of coke in space and you open it would the coke diffuse into little beads or stay together? In what direction would the coke come out of the can? charles



Replies:
All that depends a lot on the temperature you are able to keep the can at. If the can was not being directly lit by the sun, it would probably get pretty cold, the contents would freeze, and opening the can would produce just a gradual sublimation of the contents coming out of the opening at the top. If you can keep the can pretty close to room temperature, then because there is quite a bit of pressure (from the carbonation), opening would produce a burst of stuff (like when you open it down here) and then again most of the contents would evaporate - in this case you would probably be left with a deposit of sugar and other goop on the inside of the can.

Arthur Smith


And, of course, it also depends upon the ambient air pressure. This reminds me of the great Coke-Pepsi battle on STS-51F back in August of 1985. The two softdrink giants both developed hi-tech dispensers designed to work in zero G. The Coke system worked fairly well, but the Pepsi system was described as "needing more work" by payload specialist Loren Acton who tested it. The AWST article was titled "Coke, Pepsi Fizzle in Shuttle Test" "Aviation Week & Space Technology" August 19, 1985

John Hawley



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory