Leave it to a group of college kids to ask what could arguably be among the most important questions ever about space exploration.
Can you make beer on the moon?
A team of 10 engineering students at the University of California at San Diego is not only asking the question but is taking on the task of finding out.
The Chronicle on Higher Education reports that in December the undergraduate team will launch a small experiment to test the viability of brewer’s yeast on the low gravity lunar surface.
If it works, well, it’s a party, beer on the moon. And on a more serious note, it would have far reaching implications because it could be evidence that some medicines and food, bread, for example, could also be made on the moon.
That would be good to know if down the road colonies of earthlings intend to make the moon home.
Back to beer. The San Diego students plan to dispatch their experiment on a spacecraft that competed in the international Google Lunar XPrize challenge, a $30-million contest designed to come up with ways of lowering the cost of spaceflight. The main objective is to eventually establish human colonies in space.
The San Diego team had competed in the challenge and lost. But another competitor just couldn’t pass up the chance and invited the 10 undergrads to launch their beer making venture on the vehicle they are sending in to space sometime before Dec. 31.
One problem with this particular experimental batch of brew on the moon: By the time colonies settle there, the frothy grog would long be flat.