STEM School and Academy, Colorado, sixth Grader Michael Bodzianowski, 11, recently won a national competition to perform an experiment that involves brewing beer in microgravity. While the intended goal isn't to foster space keggers, or possible space madness, galactic beer could benefit "future civilization, as an emergency backup hydration and medical source," according to Bodzianowski's teacher, Sharon Combs.
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education sponsored the competition as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Out of 744 proposals, submitted by 3,900 5th through 11th grade students, 11 were selected to fly to the International Space Station within the next few months. Bodzianowski hopes to travel to NASA for the launch from Cape Canaveral.
"He (Bodzianowski) came up with this idea all on his own," Combs said. "He got a book for Christmas that was about weird facts and explains how in the Middle Ages they used to drink beer because it was purer than water." Bodzianowski's proposal states that beer is good for space for "both medical and survival reasons, and it is fairly easy to conduct with limited human interactions."
Bodzianowski will receive a research mini-laboratory, so that he can prepare the experiment. Once it's launched into space, an astronaut will finish executing the plan, according to Bodzianowski's instructions. The sixth grader will run an aspect of the experiment on the ground, in tandem, to gauge any differences that might arise.
While Bodzianowski will remain the "Principal Investigator" of the experiment, his school put up the $21,500 fee that will cover the cost of the launch. Subaru, Raytheon and OtterBox supplemented faculty and parental donations.
"You never know how some of these experiments can be a stepping stone to something else," Combs said. "That's how science works."
In related news, the latest crew of the International Space Station left for orbit on a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:58 PM EDT on September 25th, for a six-hour flight, before docking to the Russian-made segment of the facility. Before long, they'll be able to get their drank on.
Image via YouTube.