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AB InBev to bring beer to Mars

Mary Ellen Shoup

By Mary Ellen Shoup+

15-Mar-2017
Last updated on 16-Mar-2017 at 09:53 GMT2017-03-16T09:53:55Z

Although it will likely take decades, AB InBev wants to be the first to bring beer to Mars.
Although it will likely take decades, AB InBev wants to be the first to bring beer to Mars.

AB InBev has announced ambitious plans to bring a “microgravity” beer to Mars, a mission that will likely take decades to accomplish.

"Through our relentless focus on quality and innovation, Budweiser can today be enjoyed in every corner of the world, but we now believe it is time for the King of Beers to set its sights on its next destination,” Ricardo Marques, vice president of Budweiser, said.

The “Bud on Mars” initiative was announced during a panel discussion at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival held in Austin, Texas, where AB InBev’s vice president of innovation, Valerie Toothman, spoke alongside retired astronaut Clay Anderson.

“This takes the Budweiser experience to the future of where colonization and socialization might go,” Toothman said.

"We know that travel to Mars might still be a decade or two away, but this is the first step in the journey in a long-term commitment by the company," she said.

NASA said that it plans to send humans to Mars by the 2030s as outlined in the bipartisan NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and in the US National Space Policy, also issued in 2010.

Challenges of bringing beer to Mars

Bringing beer to Mars poses a number of technical challenges because Mars has about one-third the gravitational pull of Earth.

“Anytime you go from a gravity based environment like we have here today and then you go into a zero gravity environment and you put carbonation in a beverage, it’s going to cause issues,” Anderson said.

"Carbonated drinks currently don't make the trip because the carbonation and the soda will not separate in microgravity,” Vickie Kloeris, subsystem manager for shuttle and ISS food systems at Johnson Space Center said.

“Experiments have been done with special microgravity dispensers for soda, but it has not been perfected yet."

Non-alcoholic carbonated beverages such as Coca-Cola have made their way to space, but astronauts had issues with the carbonation escaping from the drink, according to NASA.

“As soon as the lid is popped on Earth, you let it ‘fizz’ and you enjoy. In space, it ‘pops,’ and then maybe you’d need to clean everything,” Anderson said.

“That would be an interesting dilemma to solve for the engineers at Anheuser-Busch.”

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