The people who work on the International Space Station probably have one of the coolest jobs
I mean, the view from their office window is the entire planet.
Some of them even get to do spacewalks.
But working on Earth does have at least one perk that astronauts don’t:
After a long day, most people can come home to a nice cold brew.
But for decades, NASA has had a strict no-alcohol policy for all its astronauts.
That hasn’t stopped us from doing research on how to make the stuff in space, though.
尽管太空轨道上恒温 失重 高辐射
Orbit — with its constant temperature, weightlessness, and higher radiation — is a very different
environment from anything you’d find on Earth.
And all those factors affect the alcohol-making process.
啤酒 葡萄酒和烈酒中的酒精 源于一种叫酿酒酵母的
The alcohol in your beer, wine, and spirits comes from a tiny fungus called Saccharomyces
Which you might also know as yeast.
通过发酵 酵母摄入植物中糖类 将其转化为能量并生成
Through fermentation, yeast ingests plant sugars, converts them to energy, and releases
carbon dioxide and ethanol — aka the kind of alcohol you can drink.
What the yeast eats determines what kind of drink you end up with.
If you ferment grains, you produce beer; if you ferment grapes, you get wine.
Back in the Space Shuttle area, NASA sent up an experiment designed to brew a tiny batch
of space beer.
Instead of using the kettles and vats normally used for beer production, this space brew
was fermented in a syringe-like device with a very descriptive name, called a Fluid Processing
Meanwhile, researchers made beer on Earth using the exact same process.
Once the mission ended, they compared the beers and found that the beer brewed in space
contained fewer living yeast cells.
Now that was unexpected because the space yeast actually had better access to food.
Since nothing settles to the bottom in microgravity, the yeast and the grain should’ve been more
But the cells that were still alive also produced higher levels of a protein linked to stress
so spaceflight might be as rough on the tiny organisms as it is on us.
Which could help explain why so few cells survived the trip.
The Shuttle’s short trips made sense for brewing beer, but aging whiskey takes much
So in 2011, another group of researchers sent a small batch of fresh scotch whiskey to the
International Space Station on a two and a half year trip.
Like with the beer experiment, they kept a sample here on Earth as well.
通常 威士忌储存在橡木桶中进行熟化 从橡木中
Usually, whiskey is stored in oak barrels during the ageing process and gets its flavors
from the wood.
但是一个桶太大了 难以送到并且保存在国际空间站 所以这两个批次威士忌都是密封保存在
But a barrel would be too big to send up and store on the ISS, so both batches were sealed
into small vials with some oak shavings.
Once the space scotch got back to Earth, both samples were compared chemically and by trained
Normally, whiskey gets some of its flavor from the chemicals in wood leaching out, so
researchers expected the more efficient mixing of oak and alcohol in orbit to create more
intense woody flavors.
然而相反 微重力似乎减慢了分解过程 最终得到的威士忌
Instead, microgravity seemed to slow the breakdown process, and they ended up with a whiskey
that was very different from the control sample.
The samples that were aged on Earth had a woody aroma, with hints of things like cedar,
and vanilla, and burnt oranges.
另一方面 太空苏格兰威士忌的浓烈味道 引用形容如下
On the other hand, space scotch’s intense aroma was described as having, quote, “hints
“有防腐烟 橡胶 烟熏鱼的气味 带有奇特的芳香气味
of antiseptic smoke, rubber and smoked fish, along with a curious, perfumed note, like
另外有紫罗兰和黑醋栗的香味 木质气味浓厚 有一种肉味 ”
violet or cassis, and powerful woody tones, leading to a meaty aroma.”
Which … does not sound super appetizing.
所以 在我们找到更好的酿酒方法前 地球轨道不是个
So maybe Earth orbit isn’t the best place to make alcohol until we figure out a better
way to do it.
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