Brewing Experiment Short-Listed for Indian Lunar Lander
Moon Beer? Brewing Experiment Short-Listed for Indian Lunar Lander
By Leonard David,
UCSD brewmasters Johnny Koo, Jared Buchanan, Han Lu Ling, Neeki Ashari, Srivaths Kalyan and Tavish Traut.
Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications
There could soon be a whole new definition of the term "moonshine."
A team of University of California San Diego (UCSD) engineering students is in a ferment, all hopped up to see if beer can be brewed on the moon.
Their experiment is designed to test the viability of yeast on the moon. The potential brewmasters hail from UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering, and call themselves "Team Original Gravity."
They are 1 of 25 teams selected from a pool of several thousand entries to compete for a spot aboard a moon lander/rover that's scheduled to launch on Dec. 28, 2017.
The spacecraft is owned by the Indian startup Team Indus, a participant in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition. To win the $20 million grand prize, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon that explores at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. (The second team to accomplish all of this will get $5 million; an additional $5 million is available for various special accomplishments, bringing the total purse to $30 million.)
Team Indus has secured a launch contract from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for a booster flight.
Team Indus invited researchers who were under 25 years of age to imagine, design and build an experiment that would help humankind develop a sustainable settlement on the moon.
In Phase 1 of this "Lab2Moon" challenge, participants were asked to send in a concept note and video of their idea. That call generated 3,000 entries from 15 countries and more than 300 cities across the globe.
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