When the tourist trade first reached space, it was only a matter of time before the beer and alcohol industry would follow. And if those sufficiently inebriated can feel the force of a room spinning on Earth, they will soon be able to explore the sensation as it occurs in space. It may seem like a bad idea to put tourists in space and then give them alcohol, but that’s exactly what the not for profit research firm Astronauts4Hire is now researching.
If the room won’t stop spinning, it may be because you’re in a capsule orbiting the Earth. The special beer was developed on Earth to be specifically easy to drink in low to no gravity environments. The venture is intended to support the new space tourist trade. But some the incredibly complex process of creating a beer that will be able to achieve terminal velocity and still maintain its flavor is due to the carbonation process. Carbonated beverages can lose their carbonation or even explode from their cans when subjected to extreme pressure such as those involved in the extreme acceleration of rockets leaving Earth and reaching orbit. A zero gravity beer will have to be studied carefully for space tourists who are hoping to get wasted in space.
But the process is being studied carefully by Saber Astronautics in Australia as well as Australian Four Pines Brewery which is developing the formula itself. Of all the chemistry ever performed for the purpose of exploring space, this is most definitely one of the stranger ones on the list.
But is space travel the right place for beer? Many prospective space tourists certainly think so. And the industry has already given indications that it will go where the money is. And there will no doubt be several technical details to work out long before the space tourism industry takes off. And if people are going to be staying in space long enough to get drunk, they may need to sleep it off. This will no doubt raise many questions as sleeping in zero gravity has often been marked as difficult, even for astronauts. But even more than that, there is the question of waste removal. Astronauts have often complained of the complex process of going to the bathroom in zero gravity. Compounding this, it will no doubt be even more difficult if the task is to be undertaken by untrained individuals who are also inebriated.
Still, beer is part of Earth’s way of life on the planet’s surface and is yet another aspect of our culture that will make the brave journey alongside us into the stars. And as we begin travel into space this too will follow the same human rituals and traditions that we perform so often here on Earth.