17:37 24 January 2017
A team of students from the University of California in San Diego is competing to send an experiment to the moon aboard a spacecraft funded under Google’s XPRIZE competition. Their goal? Find out if beer can be brewed on the moon.
The idea started out with a few laughs amongst a group of friends,' said Neeki Ashari, the team's Operations Lead.
'We all appreciate the craft of beer, and some of us own our own home-brewing kits.
'When we heard that there was an opportunity to design an experiment that would go up on India's moonlander, we thought we could combine our hobby with the competition by focusing on the viability of yeast in outer space.'
The experiment will help researchers understand how yeast behaves on the mood which is also important in the development of pharmaceuticals and yeast-containing food such as bread.
The unfermented beer will be prepared on Earth and then sent into space.
'Converting the pressure buildup to fermentation progress is straightforward, as long as volume and original gravity—specific gravity before fermentation, hence our name—are known prior to the experiment,' said team member Han Ling.
'Our canister is designed based on actual fermenters,' said Srivaths Kaylan, mechanical lead for the team.
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