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One wobbly step for mankind: a Sydney company’s mission to perfect a space beer

“Humanity has had beer longer than we’ve had writing so, wherever humanity goes, beer is going to follow,” Saber Astronautics Director Jason Held told The Sydney Morning Herald back in 2010.

And you can guess as to what “where” Held is referring to -- space, naturally. Yes, the world’s first space stubby is being invented right here in Australia.

The notion to create an intergalactic grog to be drunk in space may seem like a Stella idea, but there are several obstacles and complications that arise when trying to develop a carbonated, flavourful drink for zero gravity.

So, Held partnered with 4 Pines Brewing Company’s Jaron Mitchell back in 2010 to tackle this “crazy and brilliant” idea, and together they co-created the company Vostok. The company is named after the 1961 spacecraft that carried Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.

They did an early test of their special beer-bottle technology back in 2014:

Dr Jason Held (PI) and Tara Croft (Flight Researcher) test the Vostok "4-Pines" Stout in a Microgravity Drinking Container on a parabolic flight test. Credit: Saber Astronautics

And Vostok recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund and finish the project, which has been well underway for the past eight years. It also gives backers a chance to contribute to a moment in history that is sure to create a buzz.

For those of you looking to become Space Beer Pioneer but don’t have the cash to get your feet off the ground, Vostok is also running a competition for an all-expenses-paid ZERO-G parabolic flight, in which one lucky winner will be part of the Vostok R&D team for space beer.

Vostok Space Beer can now be backed on Indiegogo. The campaign ends in about one month (late May or early June 2018). Credit: 4 Pines Brewing Company

The Space Beer Weekender competition includes return flights, accommodation near Cape Canaveral, Florida, a ZERO-G flight. It’s open to those residing in Australia, the UK or within the USA.

The competition is based on the success of the Indiegogo campaign; so, if the campaign does not fulfil the funding goal the winner will still receive a cash prize of $1,000 USD.

To enter the competition, click on this link and fill out the entry form. In addition, there’s a 50-word essay question to complete. You must answer the question “While floating in zero gravity, what beer would you want in your Space Beer bottle and why?”

Australians have until 12:00 pm AEST on 18th May 2018 to enter the competition. The schooner you apply, the better -- you don’t want to miss out on this golden hop-portunity to be a part of a moment in history that will be lager than life!

Okay, we’re done with the puns. For now.

Compiled and written by: Megan Toomey

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