Going to space, the final frontier, is incredible, and for most people, unknowable. But because we’re humans, whenever an astronaut does an AMA or gets interviewed, or even just has Twitter, it’s always the weird details people want to know about.
Do people want to know if astronauts really do experience Orbital Awareness (the profound feeling of awareness and empathy reported by those who have left Earth)? No, they want to know how you pee in zero gravity, has anyone ever had sex in space, and what happens if you vomit?
Former Commander, astronaut, and fighter pilot Chris Hadfield is also quite the helpful science communicator, often offering up interesting tidbits about life in space, and is usually game when quizzed by enquiring minds.
Which is exactly what happened here when a curious Twitter-user asked him if the “real fact” they’d come across was in fact true (props for checking before sharing!).
“Is this true @Cmdr_Hadfield?” they tweeted, sharing a photo of a bottle top with the words “Real Fact #1450. Astronauts can’t burp in space.”
“If so, why not?”
Hadfield indeed answered, with some rather stomach-churning details.
“You can't burp in space because the air, food and liquids in your stomach are all floating together like chunky bubbles,” he wrote.
“If you burp, you throw up into your mouth. So guess where the trapped air goes?”