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In space, burping isn’t as simple as it is on Earth due to the absence of gravity. Former Space Station astronaut Chris Hadfield shed light on this peculiar phenomenon. He explained that in space, everything in your stomach, including air, food, and liquids, floats together like chunky bubbles. Consequently, if you attempt to burp, instead of releasing the air, you end up regurgitating into your mouth. This happens because there’s nowhere for the trapped air to escape in the weightless environment of space.

Photograph official portrait of Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield in EMU suit. Photo Date: July 19, 2011. Location: Building 8, Room 183 – Photo Studio. Photographer: Robert Markowitz

The absence of gravity in space changes the way things behave in our bodies, including how we burp. Without gravity pulling things downward, the gas and liquids in astronauts’ stomachs don’t separate like they do on Earth. This means that the gas can’t escape to create a traditional burp. Instead, if the stomach contents move too close to the stomach valve, astronauts may experience a sort of reverse process, where they “vomit” due to the lack of gravity.

In simple terms:

Without gravity pulling things down, the air, food, and liquids in astronauts’ stomachs all float together, forming what astronauts describe as “chunky bubbles.” If you burp in space, instead of a regular burp, you end up regurgitating into your mouth. And what comes out isn’t just air—it’s usually wet, as a mixture of liquid vomit and air tends to escape.

On Earth, trapped air rises to the top of your stomach, allowing for a typical burping experience. But in space, this doesn’t happen due to the lack of gravity.

Toileting in space is also quite different. Astronauts use vacuum-style tubes for urination and defecation while holding onto metal bars for balance. However, modern astronauts have it better than those in the Space Race era, who endured even more challenging conditions with less advanced facilities in cramped capsules.

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