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Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

Posted April 11, 2011 8:30 AM by Steve Melito

What better way to enjoy a trip to outer space than with the perfect brew? Space tourism may still be in its infancy, but researchers from Australia's Queensland University of Technology are seeking to serve travelers old enough to imbibe. Then again, what's the legal drinking age in space? And how do you develop the perfect beer - one that doesn't taste like Tang?

Led by Martin Castillo, an engineer who once worked for Japan's JAXA space agency, the team is testing recipes in a special microgravity "drop tower" that simulates space conditions. "Australian students are quite keen to develop microgravity beer projects," Castillo jokes, even though there's "no taste-testing involved". The brewmeisters' 21-m anti-friction chute allows beer droplets to achieve approximately two seconds of low gravity, no small accomplishment on, say, a space station.

The Australian researchers also examined the fizziness of various recipes at high acceleration, how to keep beer cool, and how to achieve a mouth-watering head of foam. Because the tongues of travelers swell in space, sense of taste is affected. To tempt and then satisfy tastebuds, lower carbonation is needed. To date, two Australian breweries have used this research to fine-tune their "Vostok" brew, which has been taste-tested (and given a thumbs-up) at zero gravity.

Will you order a zero-gravity brew on your next trip to the Moon?

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#1

Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

04/11/2011 8:42 AM

What gives here? With hot-air balloon rides, you often get champagne. Does space deserve only a beer? Why not a tot of Green Chartreuse, for instance?

(Yellow Chartreuse is not as good. Jagermeister=brown chartreuse is even less good.)

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#2
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Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

04/11/2011 3:19 PM

As everyone knows, space programs are run on shoestring budgets.

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#5
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Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

04/12/2011 9:23 AM

Hey now, I'd take a nice glass of some crafty American beer over champagne up in space any day. Although it would be interesting to observe the behavior of the champagne bubbles in zero g.

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#3

Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

04/11/2011 10:28 PM

I'm guessing that if you can afford what a beer is going to cost in outer space, Champagne shouldn't be a problem.

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#4

Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

04/12/2011 5:41 AM

Sorry I can't resist.

The trouble is: bars in space have no atmosphere.

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#6
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Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

04/12/2011 1:12 PM

...no atmosphere!

post script: I see 100GA congratulations are near. Well done Randall.

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#7

Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

04/12/2011 7:44 PM

The problem with champagne is what to do about the cork. It would be interesting to see how many times it bounces around the cabin and how many people it knocks out.

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#8

Re: Anti-Friction Chute Pours Zero-Gravity Beer

05/14/2011 7:11 PM

Considering you'll propably have to pay an extra zillion for the increased leak, think I'll pass.

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