Budweiser begins space experiments aimed at brewing beer on Mars

budweiser brew beer mars bud on
When Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch announced earlier this year that it wanted to be the first company to brew beer on Mars, most commentators thought that it had its tongue lodged so firmly in its cheek that delicate surgery would be required to remove it.

But the beer brand clearly isn’t letting go of the idea, this week announcing that it’s “upholding its commitment” and moving forward with the first stage of the plan. It involves sending barley seeds to the International Space Station (ISS) this December to learn about how beer ingredients react in a microgravity environment.

Budweiser is predicting, perhaps wisely, that when we finally build a city on Mars, as hoped for by the likes of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and officials in Dubai, its inhabitants may want to quaff a beer or two from time to time. And Budweiser wants to be there to brew it.

To get the ball rolling, the famous beer brand is partnering with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the ISS U.S. National Laboratories, and Space Tango, a payload development company that operates two commercial research facilities within the National Laboratory.

Working with Budweiser’s innovation team, the group will send two barley-based experiments to the ISS as part of the next SpaceX cargo supply mission, scheduled for December 4.

Budweiser’s barley seeds will stay in orbit for around a month before returning to Earth for analysis.

“Malting barley is a process that results in the high-quality malt used in the Budweiser enjoyed today, and the research on the ISS will unveil how the barley seeds react in a unique microgravity environment,” Budweiser said in a release.

“One of the experiments will focus on barley seed exposure, with the second testing barley germination. Not only will the research offer insights on steps to creating beer on the red planet, but it could also provide valuable information on the production of barley and the larger agricultural community here on Earth.”

In other words, if the ambitious Mars enterprise doesn’t work out, there could still be some benefits for those of us remaining here on Earth. Which is nice to know.

Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Passenger spacecraft, Facebook data breach, and more

This episode of Digital Trends Live saw the fourth launch of passenger spacecraft SpaceShipTwo, and a Facebook data breach. We were also joined by the founder of Forter, Michael Reitblat, to discuss how to keep your data safe.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.