Moonshine on Mars? While fans of the book/and or Matt Damon movie ”The Martian” may have speculated that vodka might be the first alcoholic beverage brewed on the Red Planet (thanks to abandoned astronaut Mark Wartney’s his cultivation of potatoes there) Budweiser has already announced plans to brew beer on Mars.
“Budweiser is always pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are inspired by the collective American Dream to get to Mars,” said Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques in a statement. “We are excited to begin our research to brew beer for the red planet.”
The company is planning to ship its first load of barley to the Space Station via the SpaceX rocket early next month, where it will remain in orbit for through January 2018. The grain will then be analyzed back on Earth to determine how it “reacts” to microgravity environments. Researchers are also planning to experiment with germinating the exposed barley seeds.
Alcohol for astronauts
Meanwhile, it should be noted that NASA strictly forbids astronauts from drinking alcoholic beverages for at least 12 hours before flying, and has banned its use on the International Space Station for a variety of reason.
“We don’t allow car drivers or jet pilots to be drunk and in charge of their vehicles, so it is hardly surprising the same rules apply to astronauts inside a $150 billion space station traveling through a near vacuum at 17,200mph.” Daniel G Huot, spokesperson for NASA’s Johnson Space Center. was quoted as stating by the BBC.
However, that hasn’t stopped everyone from enjoying a little booze off-planet. Not only did Buzz Aldrin admit to having a small sip of wine while taking communion just before setting foot on the with Neil Armstrong in 1969, the Russians allowed cosmonauts onboard the Mir Space Station to drink small amounts of cognac and vodka.
Meanwhile, NASA sponsored an experiment on the International Space Station to see how microgravity might affect the “mellowness” of whiskey from September 2011-September 2014. While they found no change in the whiskey’s tannins following nearly 1,000 days in space, they did find that the charred oak wood used to aid the aging process yielded “higher concentrations of flavor-imparting lignin breakdown products.” A similar experiment was conducted the following year by Japanese brewer Suntory shipped some of its whiskey to the ISS.
Note: NASA did include miniature bottles of brandy in a special Christmas dinner for astronauts aboard Apollo 8 on their return trip from the moon, but Commander Frank Borman ordered the crew not to drink them. It was later reported that Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell (better known as the commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission) sold his at auction in 2008.