Buzz Aldrin speaks out against Tang

According to Buzz Aldrin though, "Tang sucks." (NBC News)


  1. I met him once in a Newport Beach Radio Shack of all places. Nice guy. Then again, are there any astronaut jerks? I’d imagine they were trained by NASA in the art of charming in the public as they went through astronaut training.

    1. As you say they must be heavily inculcated in the methods of public relations but I’d wager that one of the many aspects looked at in the selection process was the ability to get along with other people; after all look at the size of the orbital and lunar modules and the duration three fellows were expected to co-habitate in such proximity.

        1.  In my, admittedly limited, experience some people are real “mans men” or “womens women”. Maybe back then all they really bothered to test was how well men got along with other men, since that was all they were going to be dealing with.

          Another thing might be that many of these guys came home to great celebrity and all the access to marriage-corrupting fun that comes with it while at the same time (late 60’s and onward) the notions that many women had for their own role in a marriage were changing and they were discovering a sense of personal agency that prior generations of women had been denied.

          On the gripping hand maybe marriage, as classically defined and attempted by most folks, is a bullshit and unnatural concept that at it’s best stifles at least one of the people entering in to it.

          1. “In my, admittedly limited, experience some people are real “mans men” or “womens women”.”

            Strict gender roles and confirmation bias are just aaaaawesome.

            “On the gripping hand maybe marriage, as classically defined and attempted by most folks, is a bullshit and unnatural concept that at it’s best stifles at least one of the people entering in to it.”

            Or perhaps there are more factors at work than your two ideas?

      1. I think they also weed out the assholes in ground school. You can’t have guys hating each other in a little tin can for a week.

      2. I seem to recall reading somewhere, possibly The Right Stuff, that astronauts back then were taught to avoid placing their hands on their hips whenever cameras were around, but if they did do so, it should be with fingers forward, not back. Forward = somewhat masculine, backward = effeminate.

  2. Well, yeah.  Tang isn’t actually a drink astronauts took to space, it’s just a product using space travel as a marketing gimmick.

    Quite a few products tried to capitalize off of the space race and had nothing to do with NASA.

    1. Or, from the article:

      Contrary to popular belief, Tang wasn’t actually invented by NASA. The tangy orange drink was introduced to the space agency when NASA officials were searching for a way to transport drinks into space.
      “The actual truth is (that) General Foods was making its travel drink mix and NASA thought, ‘Oh, this is how we should be flying our beverages,'” Michele Perchonok, NASA’s manager of the Space Food Systems Laboratory, told partner Robert Pearlman, editor of, in 2006. “So we purchased the already-made and commercially available product”

      So it did go to space, but it wasn’t invented by NASA.

    1. Whoa, I just got that joke. In the latin american spanish translation (the one I saw back in the day when this episode was new), Homer complains about the total opposite thing and says something like “How come I can’t get no NATURAL orange juice around here?”

  3. It definitely tastes like ass, but it’s certainly fun to have around a campfire when your parents aren’t looking and you lob a handful of the powder into the flames. 

    I’m surprised they’re still making it.. I can’t remember the last time I saw it in a store.

    1. Latin American markets. They also sell Tang Límon and Mango Tang. I admit, they’re guilty pleasures. But, now that I think about it,  maybe just pleasurable enough that I haven’t indulged in them since the date could be written with a 19. I think the idea was a bit more compelling than the powder.

  4. “I was the first man to pee his pants on the Moon.” —Buzz Aldrin

    We went to a book signing to see him, and by God, after he signed my book, he reached right across the table and shook my hand. THAT’S RIGHT, ONE OF THE HANDS I’M TYPING WITH RIGHT NOW!

    I have yet to hear anything from or about him that lessens my great respect for him. Tell ya what, when I hear (and may it be a long way away) of his passing, I’ll dump out the old jar of Tang that’s in my cupboard now, as a memorial.

  5. great. got any more childhood impressions you want to slaughter? ASTRONAUTS DRINK TANG. it is known.

  6. I like Buzz a great deal but I must beg to differ with him here. I enjoy Tang as a mixer with vodka; I just substitute vodka for water and call it a Cosmonaut (I believed for a long time I invented this because it just occurred to me to make this mix and call it a “Cosmonaut”, but it appears that there are many other people to whom this was obvious, which it is).

    I also like Sunny-D mixed with vodka, specifically HRD vodka, which I call a Trailerpark Screwdriver. If you’re familliar with HRD vodka you will understand why it’s a trailerpark drink.

    1. i did the exact same thing when i first started drinking and never really  told anyone about it, apparently it is super obvious

    2. I’d be willing to bet that Buzz would have enjoyed a Cosmonaut or two or three about 20 years ago.

  7. I presumed most astronauts aside from John Glenn were hoping to get themselves some tang.

    1.  The peanut butter ones were the best-tasting, as they came the closest to actually tasting like the flavor on the package. The chocolate ones were really terrible.

  8. John Young didn’t like his orange juice either:

    At one point, according to the official flight transcripts, Young turned to Duke and said: “I haven’t eaten this much citrus fruit in 20 years.
    But I’ll tell you one thing, in another 12 (expletive) days, I ain’t ever eatin’ anymore.”

    Link to source

  9. Aldrin: Tang sucks

    I’m torn about this,
    On the one hand, what a curmudgeon.
    On the other, he’s right you know.

    Joking aside, I’d love to bump into Buzz, give him a big fat high five, mention his missed opportunity – his website should have been Buzzfeed.

  10. I was already to cheer this, until I got to the line “Aldrin said he was jealous of Baumgartner’s Red Bull corporate sponsorship” because Red Bull is soooo much more disgusting-tasting than Tang.
    I mean, Tang is just sort of “meh fake orange” while Red Bull is foul swill mad from a recipe that couldn’t be nastier if it was formulated by Satan himself.

  11. My family had the same can of Tang crystals slowly hardening into a single semisentient rock in one of the smaller pantry cabinets in our 1974 Tote-N-Tarry fiberglass travel trailer for upwards of a decade.  I kinda liked drinking it on our fairly rare camping trips, but these days I find Tang most useful for cleaning out hard water deposits in my dishwasher.  Works a treat for that purpose.

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