Why Budweiser is sending brewing supplies to the ISS

The American brewer wants to see how well the 20 barley seeds sprout in weightless conditions.

A recycled SpaceX capsule is back at the International Space Station in time for Christmas and on it are ingredients for astronauts to make beer.

The 5,000lb (2,268kg) shipment in the Dragon capsule included barley seeds from Budweiser.

The American brewer, which has ambitious plants to serve the first brew on Mars, wants to see how well the 20 barley seeds sprout in weightless conditions.

SpaceX's Dragon rocket.
SpaceX’s Dragon rocket which took Budweiser’s barley seeds to space (Nasa/PA)

The malting process involves soaking them in water for two or three days, allowing them to partly germinate before drying them with hot air.

Budweiser’s barley will stay in orbit for approximately one month before returning to Earth to be analysed.

Ricardo Marques, the company’s vice president, said: “Budweiser is always pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are inspired by the collective American Dream to get to Mars.

Bottles of Budweiser beer.
The American company is keen to brew beer on Mars one day (Lenscap67/Getty Images)

“We are excited to begin our research to brew beer for the red planet.”

One of the experiments will focus on barley seed exposure, with the second testing barley germination, the company said.

The hope is that the research “could also provide valuable information on the production of barley and the larger agricultural community” on Earth.

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