Space Beer

In 2006 scientists grew barley on the International Space Station as part of an experiment to determine whether crops can survive in space (and one day feed astronauts living up there). They found that "the barley showed almost no ill effects from growing in microgravity or radiation. The scientists found only one enzyme increased from slight oxygen deprivation, but the plants did well." Back on Earth Sapporo recently brewed 100 bottles of "Space Beer" from the barley.

An increase of only one enzyme? This must be disappointing news to the Chinese, who for decades have been blasting seeds and sperm into space, in the theory that the combination of cosmic radiation and microgravity will produce mutations that will yield larger, stronger varieties. They even have a Center for Space Breeding. I think they've been watching too many 1950's science-fiction movies.

Back in 2007 a purple "space potato" grown from seeds taken onboard the Shenzhou IV space mission were all the rage in Shanghai restaurants. (Reportedly they tasted more "glutinous" than normal potatoes.)

And in 2005, as I've noted before, there were reports the Chinese had carried pig sperm into space, in the hope of breeding larger, tastier pigs.
     Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 06, 2008
     Category: Food | Space Travel

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