Space beer due to the different behavior of the main components barley and yeast in microgravity.

Last updated: 2020-09-05


Research into yeast growth and barley germitation in microgravity environment.


  • Unique novelty product to capture the interest of population segments.
  • Research into yeast cells is applicable to human cells.

Why & Solution

Yeast and humans are about 70 percent similar in genetics, making these microbes ideal for studying how human cells adapt to space. Spaceflown yeast strains showed DNA and RNA damage and a variety of changes suggesting that microgravity affects core cellular processes. These findings can direct future investigations of environmental modifications to minimize these effects during long spaceflights and to identify drugs to help control harmful effects in humans. The experiments also demonstrate that full genome screening can be done during spaceflight using small-suitcase-sized hardware, significant for future studies in space and extreme environments on Earth. Addresses risks to biological integrity and life-based support systems for long-term occupation in space. Results from this study allow researchers to gain a global perspective to the genes that play a role in survival, in regards to microgravity conditions, and will allow for a more thorough understanding of the effects of microgravity on a model organism. The expectation is that what is observed in yeast is likely to have a comparable effect in mammalian cells. This is supported by the observation that regulatory mechanisms are largely conserved between yeast and mammalian cells. 2

Budweiser’s innovation team selected barley, one of its core ingredients, to be the focus of the first two experiments in space. Malting barley is a process that results in the high-quality malt used in the Budweiser enjoyed today and the research on the International Space Station will unveil how the barley seeds react in a unique microgravity environment. One of the experiments will focus on barley seed exposure with the second testing barley germination. Not only will the research offer insights on steps to creating beer on the Red Planet, but it could also provide valuable information on the production of barley and the larger agricultural community here on earth. 1

Bottles of beer have been launched to over 30 km in altitude and returned safely on balloons. BridgePort performed such a suborbital mission in 2018.

Revenue Estimation

Cost Estimation

Could start with only yeast and/or barley itself, which is a small percentage of mass in a 1 liter of drink.

Earthly Solution Risk

Taste might be imitated eventually, but uniqueness remains.


  1. Budweiser Takes Next Step to Be the First Beer on Mars. Published 2017-11-21. Accessed 2017-11-21. Source

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  2. Genotypic and Phenotypic Changes in Yeast Related to Selective Growth Pressures Unique to Microgravity (Micro-4) - 03.28.18. Accessed 2018-11-27. Source

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