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Moon mission being launched to brew beer there





  • A group of engineering students hopes to brew a batch of beer on the moon
  • The team has entered a competition for a place on the TeamIndus spacecraft
  • It is one of 25 teams selected from a pool of 3,000 to compete for a spot
  • All competition entries will be judged in March when teams fly to Bangalore, and the spacecraft will launch on 28 December this year

By Abigail Beall For Mailonline

Published: 08:08 EST, 23 January 2017 | Updated: 03:24 EST, 24 January 2017

Russia will land its first cosmonauts on the moon in 2031.

Meanwhile, Nasa says we could colonise the moon by 2022 for a total cost of just $10 billion (£6.4 billion).

But one important question for our future life on moon is yet to be answered - whether or not beer can be brewed in space.

Now a group of students are setting out to answer this question, by brewing a batch of beer on the moon. 

But one important question for our future life on Mars is yet to be answered - whether or not beer can be brewed in space. Now a group of students are setting out to answer this question, by brewing a batch of beer on the moon (stock image) But one important question for our future life on Mars is yet to be answered - whether or not beer can be brewed in space. Now a group of students are setting out to answer this question, by brewing a batch of beer on the moon (stock image)

But one important question for our future life on Mars is yet to be answered - whether or not beer can be brewed in space. Now a group of students are setting out to answer this question, by brewing a batch of beer on the moon (stock image)

HOW TO BREW BEER ON THE MOON

The unfermented beer, or wort, will be prepared on Earth and then sent into space.

Rather than separating the 'fermentation' and 'carbonation' phases as would normally occur during the process of making beer, the team plans to combine them.

The canister is designed based on actual fermenters.

It contains three compartments—the top will be filled with the unfermented beer, and the second will contain the yeast. 

When the rover lands on the moon with the experiment, a valve will open between the two compartments, allowing the two to mix.

When the yeast has done it's job, a second valve opens and the yeast sink to the bottom and separate from the now fermented beer. 

A team of University of California, San Diego students are competing to send an experiment to the moon, aboard a spacecraft built by Indian startup TeamIndus.

The spacecraft has been funded under Google's Lunar XPRIZE competition.

The students are one of just 25 teams selected from a pool of 3,000 to compete for a spot aboard TeamIndus spacecraft, that will launch on 28 December this year.

'The idea started out with a few laughs amongst a group of friends,' said Neeki Ashari, the team's Operations Lead.

'We all appreciate the craft of beer, and some of us own our own home-brewing kits. 

'When we heard that there was an opportunity to design an experiment that would go up on India's moonlander, we thought we could combine our hobby with the competition by focusing on the viability of yeast in outer space.' 

Understanding how yeast behaves on the moon is not just important for brewing beer in space, the students said.

It is also important for the development of pharmaceuticals and yeast-containing foods, like bread.

The unfermented beer, or wort, will be prepared on Earth and then sent into space. 

Rather than separating the 'fermentation' and 'carbonation' phases as would normally occur during the process of making beer, the team plans to combine them.

'Converting the pressure buildup to fermentation progress is straightforward, as long as volume and original gravity—specific gravity before fermentation, hence our name—are known prior to the experiment,' said team member Han Ling.

'Our canister is designed based on actual fermenters,' said Srivaths Kaylan, mechanical lead for the team. 

The canister (pictured) is designed based on actual fermenters. It contains three compartments¿the top will be filled with the unfermented beer, and the second will contain the yeast The canister (pictured) is designed based on actual fermenters. It contains three compartments¿the top will be filled with the unfermented beer, and the second will contain the yeast

The canister (pictured) is designed based on actual fermenters. It contains three compartments—the top will be filled with the unfermented beer, and the second will contain the yeast

A team of University of California, San Diego students are competing to send an experiment to the moon, aboard a spacecraft built by Indian startup TeamIndus A team of University of California, San Diego students are competing to send an experiment to the moon, aboard a spacecraft built by Indian startup TeamIndus

A team of University of California, San Diego students are competing to send an experiment to the moon, aboard a spacecraft built by Indian startup TeamIndus

TeamIndus, a private company located in Bangalore, India, was the only Indian entrant into the Google Lunar X-Prize, the international competition to land a private spacecraft on the moon. Illustration of TeamIndus Rover on the moon, pictured TeamIndus, a private company located in Bangalore, India, was the only Indian entrant into the Google Lunar X-Prize, the international competition to land a private spacecraft on the moon. Illustration of TeamIndus Rover on the moon, pictured

TeamIndus, a private company located in Bangalore, India, was the only Indian entrant into the Google Lunar X-Prize, the international competition to land a private spacecraft on the moon. Illustration of TeamIndus Rover on the moon, pictured

'It contains three compartments—the top will be filled with the unfermented beer, and the second will contain the yeast. 

'When the rover lands on the moon with our experiment, a valve will open between the two compartments, allowing the two to mix. 

'When the yeast has done it's job, a second valve opens and the yeast sink to the bottom and separate from the now fermented beer.'

Proposed experiments for the competition have come from all over the globe and range from photosynthesis to electricity. 

They will be evaluated by an international jury in March when teams fly to Bangalore, India, to showcase their final prototype. 

'The yeast study is among the coolest experiments to be performed on the lunar surface, and I am sure they are one of the top contenders to win the Lab2Moon competition,'' said Siddhesh Naik, TeamIndus Ninja and mentor to the team.

'Original Gravity is one of the most hardworking teams and very dedicated to their project.'


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