This Team Wants To Brew Beer On The Surface Of The Moon
When gazing at the moon, it often appears as this distant, celestial force, but could it be better? What if the gray-ish, gargantuan giant got an upgrade—say...ale?
Well, there’s already a team of budding engineers tackling such a task. This brilliant-yet-probably-booze-riddled bunch at the University of California (San Diego) is working to brew beer—on the moon. They’ve also found finite reason too.
“The idea started out with a few laughs amongst a group of friends,” team member Neeki Ashari said in an interview with the school. “We all appreciate the craft of beer, and some of us own our own home-brewing kits.”
The young engineers have entered a contest to go to The Earth’s nightlight with Teamindus sometime in 2017—a candidate competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition.
“When we heard that there was an opportunity to design an experiment that would go up on India’s moonlander, we thought we could combine our hobby with the competition by focusing on the viability of yeast in outer space,” Ashari added.
By focusing their efforts on space-beer fermentation, the students could master the preparation process of yeast-rich provisions—e.g., bread. This skill will be a blessing as humans further harness the ability to travel farther into outer space.
[A student examines some of the tech behind the brew kit. | Photo: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications]
But even if their ale experiment successfully gets a flight to the moon, it wouldn’t exactly be a first for an ale-driven outfit. NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin pulled an incognito communion on the moon’s surface while on his Apollo 11 mission—nobody knew...until after the moon-landing effort. Before ingesting the space sacrament, Aldrin radioed the following to NASA’s ground team:
“I would like to request a few moments of silence…and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.”
More, a Colorado-based crew crafted a small amount of suds while aboard a NASA space shuttle. In NASA’s findings, the yeast was a bit wonky while in space, but they made some alterations to ensure the ale was ultimately the same as it would be back on Earth.
In another space-suds effort, cosmonauts kicked back with doctor-recommended Cognac aboard the Mir space station in the 1990s. There was also the time Ardbeg whiskey aged for a total of two years while on the International Space Station—it was then returned to Earth to complete the experiment (taste testing).
“When myself and my team went to nose and taste the samples...I was quite astonished at how different the samples were,” Ardbeg Distilling Director Dr. Bill Lumsden said in a video. “That was the key result for me. The Earth control samples certainly resembled Ardbeg as we know and love it, but up on the Space Station, it was a whole new range of samples—some flavors I hadn’t encountered before.”