Will future moon colonists be able to kick back after a hard day of exploring and have a cold one?
There's currently no concrete plan to build a moon base, but you know humanity will get up there eventually. And pretty soon we'll know if we can brew a beer up there (if you had to fly it up from Earth, the import fees would be outrageous).
The Telegraph reports a team of scientists at the University of California are hoping to answer that question with a specially designed fermentation device that is about the size of an average beer can. The tech is set to be transported to the moon on an Indian spacecraft tentatively set to launch by the end of 2017. The mini-fermenter is modeled after regular, Earth-based ones ... and will hopefully determine if fermentation can work under lunar conditions (different atmosphere, pressure, gravity, etc.).
Though beer is the interesting part of the equation, the team is actually looking at more noble pursuits with its yeast-fermenting experiment. Along with beer, this experiment should help determine if scientists will be able to grow yeast-containing medicines and foods on the moon. The findings could play a role in planning for future manned missions, especially when we eventually get around to long-term ones.
Here’s hoping it goes well, because who wouldn't want a good beer with which to enjoy the Earthrise?