‘When humans reach Mars, its beer will also be there’, Budweiser had boldly announced last spring.
And in what would be the first step that the company is taking towards meeting that ambitious goal, barley seeds which is one of the main ingredients of beer, is being sent to Mars by Budweiser on a rocket. `
To be launched on December 4, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the company will be sending out 20 barley seeds on board Space X’s cargo supply mission to deliver them to space. Two experiments are to be conducted by the company with the barley seeds about 220 miles above the Earth on the International Space Station, said the Missouri-based Anheuser-Busch. The first test is to examine how the seeds reacts after they are exposed to a zero-to-low gravity environment and the second experiment would be to examine whether they would germinate in that environment.
Before the seeds are transported back to Earth for further examination, they would orbit the Earth for a month.
“Not only will the research offer insights on steps to creating beer on the Red Planet, but it could also provide valuable information on the production of barley and the larger agricultural community here on Earth,” Anheuser-Busch said in a news release last week.
However, there would be multiple logistical and physical challenges for sending beer to mars, Budweiser acknowledged. One of the major questions that remains is the manner in which the ingredients necessary for making Budweiser can be grown at a place where there is no life at all.
Water, barley, rice, yeast and hopsv are the five ingredients that are used to make Budweiser. According to Budweiser, producing beer that has about 90 percent off water would be difficult and the final product would be bitter because there is very limited water on Mars and that too is salty.
Due to the fact that there would not be as abundant sunlight on mars as on Earth, it would be difficult to cultivate hops on Mars.
Additionally, the experience of having beer would be different compared to that on Earth. There would perhaps be no taste of beer on Mars. This is so because due to absence of gravity, the nasal passages of astronauts would be clogged and body fluids would not be pulled downwards. This is similar to difficulties in tasting according to Budweiser when one has a cold.
And in the words of Budweiser, the rising bubbles in a beer on Mars would just be a “foamy slop” as they would not rise to the surface due to the very little gravity.
“That crisp sound you get from opening an ice-cold Budweiser wouldn’t happen,” Budweiser said.
It would also bee difficult to store beers at the desired temperatures of 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit because the night temperatures on Mars can drop to -100 degrees Fahrenheit, Budweiser said.
2030 is the time when NAZA is expecting to send humans to Mars.
There are also other companies that are thinking about alcohol in space.
In order to examine how differently whiskey matures in space compared to Earth after three years, one vial of whiskey was sent to the International Space Station in 2011while another was kept at the distillery.
(Adapted from Washingtonpost.com)