Gravity defying beer is being trialled in Australia, with students at the Queensland University of Technology trying to create the perfect pint to be consumed in space.

Personally, we think a can of Special Brew could survive the rigours of space travel, but it seems that there are a number of factors you need for a decent space pint.

The first point to note is that the tongue swells in space, so the beer needs to have a lower carbonation.

Then there's the fact that lower carbonation will mean a pretty lousy froth.

These are the factors that researchers are currently trying to tackle, with the hope that their zero-gravity beer will be available for the first batch of space tourists to quaff.

Space, the final front… beer?

To simulate space, researchers are using a microgravity "drop tower" and are testing their hop-filled recipes in this contraption.

"Australian students are quite keen to develop microgravity beer projects," lead researcher Martin Castillo joked, possibly while drinking in a Billabong.

In all seriousness, Castillo does point out that there is a lot of science going into making space beer.

"All this bundled together – the carbonation, the frothing on the top, the drinkability, the way the liquid cohesively agglomerates – all of this is put into a final product for... going up into the [International] Space Station, low earth orbit satellites, things like that that humans can go onto."

A trial of space beer has already taken place this year. The pint goes under the name of Vostok Space Stout. It was blasted off in February and trialled by one unnamed but presumably happy astronaut.

Via The Register and AFP