Budweiser to Conduct Experiments Aboard the International Space Station

At this year's South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, beer giant Anheuser-Busch made a pledge to be the first beer on Mars with its "Bud on Mars" initiative. While that may seem a tall order, the company is already making good on that promise made at the panel discussion.

The Bud on Mars initiative is in fact a partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS, the aerospace organization that manages both the U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station. Now, the brand is taking the first of what promises to be the first of many steps taken to become the first beer on Mars.

As Food & Wine reports, Anheuser-Busch will send 20 Budweiser barley saplings to the ISS for two experiments, one focusing on the effects of a microgravity environment, and the other focused specifically on germination, to find out if barley seeds in space grow at the same rate as their Earth-bound counterparts.

"Budweiser is always pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are inspired by the collective American Dream to get to Mars," said Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques. "We are excited to begin our research to brew beer for the red planet."

Barley seeds and saplings will make their way to space as part of a SpaceX cargo supply mission scheduled to launch Monday, Dec. 4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, one of eight scientific projects on board in areas including biology, bone growth and diabetes management, Beverage Daily reports.

The barley will stay aboard the station for 30 days before it comes back to Earth for testing and analysis. This is a great step and recognizes the long-term commitment Budweiser is making to this project.

"The International Space Station offers a vast backdrop for a variety of research, and it is an opportunity for companies like Budweiser to expand their knowledge-base—in this case on the evaluation of plant biology in microgravity," said Patrick O'Neill, Marketing Communications Manager, CASIS.

Along those lines, Budweiser suggests the results of these experiments might not only help with Bud's future travels to Mars, but could benefit barley production and the larger agricultural community back on our green and blue planet as well.

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