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#TBT: Coke Conquers the Final Frontier

By:  Emily Bucherati Sep 5, 2013
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Coke space can

This was the specially-designed Coke "Space Can" sent aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1985. If the packaging reminds you of another 80s-era Coke creation, you're on the right track - we actually sent along New Coke for the Challenger astronauts! Thanks largely to a lack of refrigeration, this space can wasn't as successful as hoped, but it would lead to further innovation...

September 5 is the anniversary of Voyager 1's launch into space. But probes, satellites, and shuttles aren't the only things we've sent beyond the earth's atmosphere. Did you know that Coca-Cola was the first soft drink to be consumed in space?

For this Throwback Thursday (#TBT), we're taking a look back at Coke's journeys out of this world.

Coke space ad

This spaced-out ad from 1988 features all the varieties of Coke available at the time. Sure, it's an impressive variety - but today, our Coca-Cola Freestyle machines offer over a hundred different possibilities. (Cherry Vanilla Coke with a splash of root beer, anyone?) Check out 10 combinations you can only find on Freestyle here.

Coke space dispenser

This was the dispenser used on board the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995. Offering both Coke and Diet Coke, it allowed the drinks to be chilled, and was the first use of soda fountain equipment in space.

Coke space dispenser in action

The space dispenser in action, serving Coca-Cola Classic in a specially-designed polycarbonate drinking cup. For more innovative Coke containers, read about our sharing cans or the Colombian ice bottle.

Coke space shuttle ad

The success of 1995's fountain experiment led to this advertisement that same year. We're still continuing to expand our reach today: just this year we began delivering to Myanmar for the first time in over 60 years.

Newest Coke space dispenser

Coke would create another dispenser for the Endeavour in 1996, featuring the addition of Powerade. Want to read more about the latest vending machine tech? Try our articles on the Japanese "impossible" vending machine, machines that let you pay with your phone, and even a machine helping to save endangered birds.