October 14, 2013
Next Stop: Beer In Space
I don’t like beer. I don’t like it at all, but I do appreciate that thousands of pissed off Americans can congregate in the same general area without fighting, bickering, or causing any type of physical harm with the help of a beverage. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people meet every weekend to — you guessed it — get drunk.
The beer brewing industry is all the merrier at this point in time, so it’s no surprise to me that 11-year-old Michal Bodzianowski conceived a spectacular experiment for his sixth grade science project. Bodzianowski theorizes that it might be possible to ferment yeast and create healing alcohol for astronauts in space. In the pursuit of a good grade, Michael may have stumbled on a new and compelling scientific discovery.
“It was a punishment for crimes, that you couldn’t drink beer,” he said, speaking of the Middle Ages. “Most people didn’t survive (that) because the water was contaminated.”
By allowing the yeast to ferment in various forms of terrain and weather, brewers were able to stay hydrated and refreshed because of how tainted water was. In that regard, beer was thought of as a healing agent for older civilizations.
Bodzianowski believes that the discovery is most important to astronauts in space who run the risk of dehydration or a fatal accident. If they had it, in-orbit space stations would be better outfitted for damage control, which could open up many doors on how to maintain space security at all times. But apart from Bodzianowski’s lamentations on space travel, I myself am intrigued to see what this discovery could do for starved populations of people with no clean drinking water in other parts of the world where they need it.
Having no source of drinking water to maintain hydration, astronauts can look to the low water levels in beer for hydration, which would also cause this beer to resemble the low alcohol leveled beers of the Middle Ages.
To conduct this experiment, Bodzianowski will send a vial with six-inch tubes and compartments to store the ingredients for beer. Hopefully when astronauts finally ferment the ingredients later this year in December, we’ll have another great discovery on our list thanks to some much needed love and support from the kids.
Bodzianowski submitted his findings in a contest called the Spaceflights Experiment Program (SSEP), but will not be brewing the beer himself, as he is far too young.
Good job boys and girls!
Image Credit: Pat J M / Shutterstock