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Cheers - AE

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

In space no one can hear you hurl

Only the Aussies could possibly think it important do develop a beer for drinking in space when Australia hasn't got a space program. And probably only an Australian journo would claim that it's getting priorities right.
WE might not have our own space program yet, but we sure as hell have our priorities right.
Two Australian companies have developed the very first space beer.
With the space tourism industry preparing for take off as early as next year — Saber Astronautics Australia teamed up with the Four Pines Brewing Company to develop the very first beer that can be consumed safely in space.
Human biology changes in zero gravity conditions. The tongue swells, the senses dull — altering the way food and drink tastes.
"This is a well known problem in the astronaut corps, in the space industry," Dr Held told
"The longer people spend in space the more reduced flavours they detect."
Saber’s first goal was to develop a recipe that people could enjoy comfortably.
"We also wanted to make the beer good to drink on earth as well. So the idea is you can drink this beer anywhere in the universe," said Dr Held.
Saber picked a high-flavoured beer as a baseline recipe to ensure that space travellers could enjoy the full flavour of the smoky Irish style stout, no matter how long the flight duration.
"The gases and the liquids don’t like to separate in zero gravity," said Dr Held.
"So we’ve reduced the carbonation a bit and given a really strong flavour to the beer.
"It’s actually one of the reasons I approached the Four Pines brewery in the first place, because their recipes, from the get go, are very tasty."
The first swig is like a bit of a slap of cold air to the face – space beer really is smoky. But the flavour does grow on you, and has a wonderful aftertaste, kind of like a coffee in the morning.
More tests will need to be done to ensure humans can consume beer safely as they sail across the Milky Way.
"The blood alcohol content I think has broader implications for space tourism," said Dr Held.
"Because you can have a lot of people going into space, surely some people are going to drink even if you tell them not to.
“We know that in aviation, an Australian footy player whose name I will not mention drank too much at high altitude, just on a regular flight — and when you’re drinking at high altitude your body doesn’t absorb it as quickly.
"So when he got on the ground after drinking a whole bunch of drinks, it hit him all at once and he got sick."
Whahey! I fuckin' love you, mate, your my besht mate. Give ush a kish, ya shoppy bardshtud.

And then comes the nanny.
"That’s the kind of effect we want to measure and avoid."
And since Australia is also becoming strangely anti-grog with talk of lowering the drink driving limit from .05 to .02 and widespread support for extending a no drinking zone in Adelaide (despite the fact it's not working) I can't help wondering if it's a good job Australia doesn't have a space program. I have a nasty idea what it might end up looking like.

Would you mind opening your window, please sir.
WHOOOOOSH - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
Was he the pilot?
No, that's me.
Did you know you were doing more than 24,000
km/h just now?
Yes, of course. We still are. We're in low earth
orbit. You have to go 24,000 km/h just to get
up here in the first place.
Well, I'm afraid we'll have to impound your re-entry
capsule for 48 hours. Hoon spaceflight legislation.
Hoon whaaaat? You've got to be kidding me.
It's the laws of bloody physics.
I don't enforce those laws, sir. Just the other kind.
But that's ridiculous. We need it to get down
You should have thought of that before, sir. There
anyone who can come up here and get you?
Not before we run out of air and not without
 doing bloody 24,000 km/h.
Now, you're sounding a bit agressive and I notice a
couple of bottles of space beer floating about in there.
Have you had anything to drink?
No, of course I haven't.
Well, I just need you to take a deep breath and blow
into this tube.
WHOOOSH - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
You're only making it worse for yourself by refusing, sir.
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