Beer set to be enjoyed in space, thanks to low-gravity bottle design
Image credit: vostok space beer
Astronauts and future space tourists may soon be able to enjoy their favourite tipple in space thanks to a new beer that can be drunk in low-gravity conditions.
Created in tandem by Australian beer company 4 Pines Brewing and space-engineering firm Saber Astronautics Australia, two bottles have been prototyped to allow astronauts to drink the beer without the pull of gravity to suck liquid out of the bottle.
A crowdfunding campaign is currently underway to convince people to fund the venture.
“More people have booked recreational space flights than there have been astronauts in space over the past 57 years. And just like we saw in commercial aviation history, space travellers are going to want to enjoy certain creature comforts, like good beer, while enjoying their suborbital experience,” said 4 Pines co-founder Jaron Mitchell.
4 Pines has already developed the beer itself which is intended to be drunk in space. “The baseline recipe is a dry Irish-style Stout made with a seven-strong malt line-up,” the company says.
The bottles work by using the surface tension of water to ‘wick’ the beer from the bottom of the bottle to the neck.
The beer is probably going to be more useful to future space tourists than astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station.
Nasa astronauts are at present forbidden from drinking while in space, despite the fact that earlier Apollo missions did allow for limited consumption of alcohol.
The reason behind this decision is partly due to the low pressure experienced while up in space, which - as with aeroplanes - makes humans experience drunkenness faster than they do on the ground.
Coupled with the fact they are essentially living in a very delicate life raft equipped with millions of pounds of equipment covering every wall, it is deemed too dangerous to allow ISS inhabitants to drink.
Funds acquired from the crowdfunding campaign will be used to complete the industrial design of the bottle and to fund people researching it in flight.
Australia is increasingly focusing its efforts on the commercial potential of space, with the government officially announcing the launch of the country’s first national space agency later this year. The Australian Space Agency will begin operations on 1 July 2018.