It’s beer … but in space!
In order for Budweiser, produced by Anheuser Busch, to be the first “microgravity” beer on Mars, the company is sending barley into space.
Rather than wait until humans make it to the Red Planet, the beer company is doing their advanced research to see how and if beer tastes different in space. In conjunction with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space and payload development company Space Tango, Budweiser will send 20 barley seeds to the International Space Station on Dec. 4.
The shipments will leave from Cape Canaveral and stay in orbit on the space station for one month. This will test how gravity affects barley growth and how the barley will germinate before heading back to earth for analysis.
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“Budweiser is always pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are inspired by the collective American Dream to get to Mars,” vice president of Budweiser, Ricardo Marques, said in a release. “We are excited to begin our research to brew beer for the red planet.”
Further experiments will likely include getting the beer from the bottle to the mouth because as anyone who’s watched a video of someone in zero gravity knows, liquids behave weirdly in space. According to NASA, carbonated sodas must be kept in a collapsible bag inside a bottle.
Also, as NASA says in an article on beer in space, researchers must also understand the differences in carbonation. With “no buoyancy to bring the bubbles to the top,” how will the beer form a proper head?
Previous experiments with space beer have proven that while it tastes very similar to earth-brewed beer, the yeast behaves differently, with greater yeast proteins and lower cell counts. The researchers posited a different fermentation process to compensate for this, which could affect the taste and alcoholic content.
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The researchers at Budweiser have a lot of work to do, but it could all be worth it. Afterall, who needs water on Mars when you can have beer?
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