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Banana-bender beer boffins drop drops for science

In search of the space brew

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The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

No, it’s not April 1: according to wire service AFP, there really are beer researchers at the Queensland University of Technology, and they’re working on a project to brew a beer suitable for consumption in space.

Lead researcher Martin Castillo told AFP the physiology of space flight – particularly swelling of the tongue – demands a different brew to the tipples favoured by the Earth-bound masses. The researchers are working on fizz and flavour, in a project sponsored by brewer 4 Pines and commercial space firm Saber Astronautics.

The researchers are using a 21-metre high drop tower to achieve a couple of seconds of low gravity for droplets of test beers.

The “Vostok” beer (named after Russia’s first manned space mission) has been tested by an unnamed astronaut who drank a litre of it on a parabolic arc flight (such flights are also referred to as “vomit comets” – appropriate, really).

So if you aspire to having a PhD proposal in beer technology accepted, Queensland should be your destination.

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