A joint venture between a brewer and an engineering company has resulted in the creation of 'beer bottle' for space travellers.
Seven years ago, Sydney-based 4 Pines Brewing Company and Saber Astronautics formed a company called Vostok which would capitalise on the hundreds of people who are now signed up for commercial space flights.
Creating a refreshing alcoholic brew that can be 'sipped' in zero gravity is a challenge that's currently being tested with Zero Gravity Corporation, a privately held space entertainment and tourism company that offers (ZERO-G) research flights at Cape Canaveral in Florida, where it recreates the weightlessness felt in space and the conditions experienced in future commercial space flights.
Vostok's goal includes solving two critical issues – to create the recipe for the world’s first beer to be consumed in space, as well as the patented bottle technology necessary for imbibing in zero gravity.
With the beer recipe locked down (it's been commercially available in Australia since 2011), the beer 'bottle' has been trickier to produce.
Vostok is now in the final stages of testing a prototype of the world's first beer bottle that will, hopefully, duplicate the experience of beer on earth.
Jason Held, CEO of Saber Astronautics, says: “Our testing started in 2011 as we tried to work out how to make the experience feel natural.
“We've taken a page out of the design of rocket fuel tanks, and we now have a bottle we know will work in space.
"The tricky part is the exterior of the bottle – the design and look of a bottle that will meet the criteria of being structurally sound and safe as well as hygienic in a zero-gravity situation.”
Once perfected, the space beer bottle will be a world-first to be manufactured, and available for space-travelling civilians to drink from in commercial space flights from 2019.