NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger declined the offer of a drink following the worst fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft last year. Linenger said that while his Russian colleagues regarded the brandy as a medication to calm their nerves, "the problem on Mir is the next day is also a tough situation." Which puts Russian science way ahead in researching the effect of weightlessness on the human hangover.
NASA may have outlawed drinking in orbit, but the Russian cosmonauts who manned the Mir through some of its worst moments over the past year have admitted to breaking out the hard stuff to relieve the stress. "We needed to relax, so we would allow ourselves a sip of cognac," cosmonaut Alexander Lazutkin told AP in an interview. His colleague Vasily Tsibilyev added, "It is needed because you can imagine the stressful situation on board."