Beer in space

Spurred by the recent news about drunk astronauts, New Scientist has a "short but frothy history" of alcohol in space. Along with mentions of Buzz Aldrin's taking of communion on the moon and cosmonauts hitting the sauce aboard Mir, the article looks at beer brewing, serving, drinking, and burping in space. From New Scientist:

Graduate student Kirsten Sterrett at the University of Colorado in the US wrote a thesis on fermentation in space, with support from US beer behemoth Coors. She sent a miniature brewing kit into orbit aboard a space shuttle several years ago and produced a few sips of beer. She later sampled the space brew, but because of chemicals in and near it from her analysis, it didn't taste great by the time she tried it…

Unfortunately for thirsty astronauts, beer is poorly suited to space consumption because of the gas it includes. Without gravity to draw liquids to the bottoms of their stomachs, leaving gases at the top, astronauts tend to produce wet burps.

"That's one of the reasons why we don't have carbonated beverages on the space menu," NASA spokesperson William Jeffs told New Scientist.


Previously on BB:
• Are you a drunk astronaut? Link