According to a report published in Space.com on 25th January, the teams have been selected to compete for a spot aboard a moon lander, scheduled for launch on December 28 this year. Of these 25 teams, one spacecraft owned by Team Indus' is planning to conduct the experiment for manufacturing beer on the Moon. Team Indus is a privately funded team, and the experiment is not governed by ISRO.
In the Lok Sabha session held on Wednesday, TMC Member of Parliament and former Union minister Sisir Kumar Adhikari raised the question to the Prime Minister if the government was planning to brew beer on the moon. He asked, "Will the Prime Minister be pleased to state: (a) whether an Indian spacecraft is planning to brew beer on the moon; (b) if so, the details of research plan and viability of yeast test therefore; and (c) the universal rules on moon lander therein?"
Dismissing any such plans in the offing by the government, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said there is a privately funded team who is participating in a global competition to build a spacecraft for soft landing on moon, where they are reportedly planning to execute a similar experiment. And the experiment is not administered by ISRO.
"There is no plan to brew beer on the moon by any spacecraft to be made by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). However, Team Indus, a privately funded team under the Axiom Research Labs Pvt. Ltd., is competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition towards building a spacecraft capable of soft landing and roving on the Moon. The spacecraft is proposed to be launched onboard ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) under a commercial launch agreement. As understood from media reports that, Team Indus is proposing an experiment to brew beer on the Moon using yeast," Singh added.
In his Lok Sabha reply, Singh further stated that the activities in outer space, are governed by United Nations treatie - Outer Space Treaty, 1967, and Moon Agreement 1979 being two of them, while the protection of planetary environment is governed by COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) Planetary Protection Policy 2002.
"These treaties and policies govern the scientific exploratory activities in outer space, moon and other celestial bodies using human made spacecraft, landers, rovers etc., without causing harmful contamination to the environment in outer space, moon and other celestial bodies and to Earth as well by bringing extra-terrestrial materials. Such activities need to be authorised by the State concerned, " Singh asserted, putting the conjectures of ISRO taking up the experiment to brew beer on moon to rest.
Ever since man put his step on to the land of moon, astronauts and scientists have gone on an experimental overdrive to gauge the possibility of life on Moon. The experiments in the recent times are only taking stranger and more intriguing turns. A privately funded Indian Space team is said to participate in a global competition, where reportedly, they are proposing an experiment to brew beer on the Moon using yeast! Intriguing isn't it? The aim of the experiment is to basically test and observe the survivability of yeast in space and how it performs under Moon's gravity conditions. How well does the experiment goes is yet to be seen, but the novel idea has already raised the bars for this Indian-based team in the said competition.