Tang, The Astronauts' Drink That NASA Didn't Invent

By Rebeka Knott
A '70s advertisement for Tang shows aliens drinking it on the moon; John Glenn was the first astronaut to take the drink into space in 1962. Source: YouTube; NASA.gov

There's nothing like a celebrity endorsement to give your brand that cool factor -- just ask the makers of Tang. Astronauts drank it in space in the 1960s, and everyone knew Astronauts were the coolest.

Times were tough for Tang before NASA's astronauts gave it a boost. The orange-flavored drink was invented in 1957, and first sold in 1959 by General Foods. It wasn't a hot seller -- after all, in America, land of abundance, did we really need a replacement for good old orange juice? 

Tang existed as a product for a few years before finding its niche, in outer space. The first astronaut to bring Tang into orbit was John Glenn, on a Mercury mission aboard Friendship 7 in February 1962.