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Why a sixth-grader wants to brew beer in space (+video)

Michal Bodzianowski, 11, is among the winners of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education’s six installment of its Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Brewing beer is a test of a water purification process.

An 11-year-old boy's experiment about brewing beer in space is headed to the International Space Station
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Mankind may be one step closer to getting extraterrestrial breweries – thanks to an eleven-year-old.

Michal Bodzianowski, 11, is among the winners of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education’s Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, which sends student experiments to the International Space Station. His project, "What Are the Effects of Creation of Beer in Microgravity and Is It Possible?,” will be ferried upward this November as part of the program's "Mission 4."

Bodzianowski, a sixth-grader at the STEM School and Academy
in Colorado’s Douglas County School District, says he wants to find out if it’s possible to brew beer in space, mixing crushed malted barley, bottled water, and yeast. It's an idea that he says could help in developing backup water supplies for future extraterrestrial colonies, since alcohol is lethal to bacteria. 

Indeed, for Bodzianowski, putting microbreweries in space has little to do with furnishing Martian taps. Instead, beer could be a safe drinking water substitute in the event of an off-world disaster that contaminates the brought-along water supplies, says Bodzianowski. That’s because the fermentation process kills off water contaminants.

“For example, if a project exploded and wounded people and cut off the power, and polluted most of the water, the fermentation process could be used to make beer, which can then be used as a disinfectant and a clean drinking source,” he writes, in his project proposal.

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