“We’ll let you do the leg work, Australia. But then we’re totally stealing your idea.”
Every American child had a series of obsessions growing up. For children born in the 80’s, it started off with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But once that began to fade away, American children focus their interests on Dinosaurs before finally settling on the most badass, expansive area of the Universe which America purchased from the Galaxy Indians for a crate of Legos.
That’s right, outer space is the final frontier, and one of the most impressive things that America has learned how to side-saddle. But despite our rich history of kicking space’s ass and shoving it down Russia’s throat, we’ve never managed to drink a beer in space.
And while it’s an Australian company, not America, that is developing a beer to drink on a flight to space in 2013, we know it’s just a matter of time before America grabs onto this idea. Also, you know that Americans are going to be the main ones taking advantage of it. And since we like to be trendsetters, you know we’ve started saving up our $95,000 to take advantage of this opportunity as soon as we can. But until then, we humbly present…
AFFotD News Item of the Month: Beer…IN SPACE!
Space Ice Cream has been around since 1968. You’ve probably had it, it doesn’t taste particularly good, but it’s ice cream! That astronauts eat! When the Whirlpool Corporation (yes, as in the appliance maker) worked to create ice cream that could be eaten in space, they had to create a complex process to limit crumbs (“They’ll clog the instruments!”) while removing water from the ice cream. The ingredients were freeze dried, compressed into cubes, and coated in gelatin as a final “fuck you” to vegetarians.
We bring up Space Ice Cream because that is the most common “space food” that we can think of. But Space Ice Cream, for all its Neapolitan glory, has nothing on…Space Beer. In comes the Australian company, Thirsty Swagman, and their partnership with 4 Pines Brewing. And just like Space Ice Cream, Space Beer is in the midst of extensive testing from certified science type people. As a result, 4 Pines Brewing has created (and tested) a special Stout to serve as their official Space Beer.
Since beer needs carbonation to be, well, beer, but gas and liquid have difficulty separating in a zero-gravity environment, a delicate balance of carbonation had to be reached unless the beer drinker were to experience a “wet burp in space” which is the most uncomfortable string of four words we have put together in quite some time. That’s why they settled on a stout, which typically would have less carbonation and a stronger taste (to combat the fact that your sense of taste decreases in zero gravity). While they’re still finishing up tests on the beers, they’re pretty confident that they’ve found the right beer to shoot up into space.
Once the hard part was done, Thirsty Swagman came in to handle the logistics. While an estimated start date of 2012/2013, they plan to offer $95,000 ascents to 300,000 feet above sea level, which would take you just past the Kármán Line, which is where outer space is said to begin. Once there, the wealthy tourist (who, come on, you know has to be American. There’s a reason why this is an Australian company that lists its price only in US Dollars) will have five to ten minutes of total weightlessness where they will sip on their 4 Pines beer while looking at that great blue marble that is planet Earth.
Now, before we go into how America should (and, let’s face it, will) steal this idea and make it better, Departed style, we should point out that the $95,000 price tag is for more than just the 10 minute trip into space and the single beer. It also includes two to three days to prepare for the flight, an after-party, video production (so you can show your friends how you once drank a fucking beer in space), a space-beer shirt, and an astronaut certificate.
That’s right. An astronaut certificate. You know that tingling feeling in your nether regions? That’s just because by reading about astronaut certificates, 10-year-old you just got your first erection. And, as medically baffling as it sounds, the same goes for our female readers too. Legally speaking, if you went on this tour, and chose not to frame your astronaut certificate and hang it on your wall next to your diplomas, your US citizenship gets revoked.
Now, Americans are surely going to use “drinking beer in space” as a valid reason to travel to Australia, but should we really let the Aussies have all the fun? Hell no. So, before we leave you to daydream about floating in space while getting sloshed, here’s a brief list of steps America can take to make this idea even better.
1. Establish an AMERICAN Beer Space Agency
Yes, NASA retired the space shuttle program, but with the interest that booze-trips to space would create, we’re pretty sure they can get proper funding to come up with a new, 21st century way to get into space. And while the folks at NASA can look at their “telescopes” or whatever they do, we need an agency devoted entirely to getting Americans drunk in a zero gravity environment. That’s why we humbly propose the creation of NAASA- The National American Alcohol Space Association. This shouldn’t even be an issue- if America can find funding for the “Environmental Protection Agency,” then NAASA should easily be worth twice as much funding. And if you want to give all the EPA funding to NAASA as well, you won’t hear any complaints on our end.
2. Get Dogfish Head Involved.
No offense to the well meaning brewmasters of Australia, but when it comes to craft beers, America likes to step in and say, “Hey, hey. We got this.” So why not go with the Delaware microbrewery that is famous for thinking outside of the box when it comes to creating strange and exotic beers? Dogfish has made a beer based off a 9,000 year old Chinese recipe found on residues in a jar, beer with ingredients from every continent, and malt liquor made out of red, white, and blue corn. You’re trying to tell us they wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to make the “perfect Space Beer”? That would be like creating a gambling-cigar-and-product-endorsement store and expecting Michael Jordan to shrug and say, “Meh, that’s not really my cup of tea. Hanes undershirts.”
3. Bring Other Hard Liquors Into the Mix.
This idea is so simple it’s amazing no one has thought of it before. Why limit yourself to beer? Yes, drinking a beer in space is a glorious idea, but whiskey in space? Yeah. We know. Revolutionary. This is the National American Alcohol Space Association, after all. Americans will go to space to binge drink, which really would pretty much be the pinnacle of American achievement.
Plus, we can have space-vodka trips, but make it so that no Russians are allowed. That’ll really piss them off.
But, of course, until America gets off their ass and makes all of these things happen, we’ll have to remain satisfied with the alcohol-in-space options we currently have at our disposal. So save up, America, because in a few years time, we fully expect you to drink some goddamn Space Beer.