Space Beer: This Special Bottle Will Let Astronauts Enjoy a Cold Brew

The space tourism industry is on the precipice of a revolution as companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin prepare to send private citizens into orbit and beyond.

To take advantage of the impending boom, Australian brewing company 4 Pines and space-engineering firm Saber Astronautics decided to pool their resources to address the seemingly crucial issue of how lucky space travelers would be able to enjoy a beer in space.

A company set up by the two firms, known as Vostok Space Beer, has already created a beer designed to be consumed in space. And now Vostok is attempting to raise $1 million on Indiegogo to produce a bottle that will allow astronauts and space tourists to properly enjoy the beverage, even in zero gravity.

In space, the absence of gravity means you can't just pour a beer out of a bottle. That's why when astronauts drink liquids in space, they have to use a squeezy bag with a tube attached. Vostok didn't want the beer-drinking experience to be ruined by something as mundane as zero gravity, so it developed a special bottle which will allow space travelers to to drink from a bottle "just as we do on land."

The company created two prototype designs made from plastic and based on technology that is usually found in fuel tanks. The designs include a "wicking insert," which transfers the beer from the bottom of the bottle to the neck without the need for gravity. The bottles are in the final stages of development and will be ready to be tested on parabolic flights, which provide the experience of zero gravity without actually entering space, early next year.

At the time of writing, Vostok Space Beer, named after the first spacecraft to carry a human into space, has raised around $30,000 toward its goal, with 24 days left to go.

"Having a casual brew in space says, 'We're here, and we're here to stay,'" Saber Astronautics CEO Jason Held told Space.com.

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A prototype of the Vostok Space Beer bottle. Vostok Space Beer

However, Held acknowledged that the company had to be careful about promoting drinking beer in space, especially given the strict limits on alcohol consumption there. NASA, for example, does not allow its astronauts to drink.

"NASA is right to be conservative, since alcohol can be abused and the body's limits in space are still being studied," Held said. "So this research is not just to make a beer to enjoy, but also to learn how people's drinking limits change in microgravity. Knowing these limits is the only responsible way to allow explorers to drink under any condition."

Space Beer: This Special Bottle Will Let Astronauts Enjoy a Cold Brew | Tech & Science