Is all this space travel worthwhile? Will it really contribute to our civilization or our touchingly naive way of life? Will it even lift our spirits?
I cannot be sure about the first two, as I feel these might be permanently floating somewhere out there. But I have some space-sourced spirit lifting to share.
Japan's Sapporo Breweries, the entity that brings you those large silver tins of beer to complement your rainbow roll, announced this week that it is launching space beer.
According to Reuters, Sapporo "Space Barley", with its cute outer-space sparkling starred label, has been created using barley grown on the International Space Station.
I am not sure what revolutionary taste values barley grown in the black beyond brings to a beer, but I'm concerned that it can't possibly be as fine as the Redhook ESB that got me through another abject Golden State Warriors performance Thursday evening at Oracle's most depressing arena.
I know you'll be wondering how to get your fingers around Space Barley's neck. It seems you will have to trust your good fortune and your, um, trust fund. There's a lottery. The 250 winners will enjoy a six-pack. Just one. The approximate price of being able to drink in a little space is $115. Which works out to about $19 for each 330 milliliter of celestial flavor.
You will be relieved to learn that this project is not for profit. Instead, all the proceeds will go to an educational science charity for Japanese children.
You will be even more relieved that the noble forces of science are finally being put to this most elemental of human uses. Indeed, if Space Barley reveals itself to have a taste somewhat superior to Coors and Budweiser (which I know is terribly tough to imagine), perhaps we might soon see an increase in space beer production.
It is surely many a human being's dream: the Unidentified Flying Brewery.