Celebrity astronaut Chris Hadfield has confirmed that it would be impossible to pour a perfect pint of Guinness in space.
And even if it was possible, you would have to drink it with a straw. Just in case you were wondering.
The Canadian spaceman was a guest on Ryan Tubridy’s RTE Radio One show and was talking about his life and career when one curious listener texted in the following question.
“If I poured a pint of Guinness in space, how long would it take to settle? Or would it settle at all and who would drink it?
“Kind regards, a concerned Guinness drinker of the future.”
Hadfield was amused by the question but used his wealth of experience to try and give a scientific answer.
He said: “You can’t pour without gravity, you couldn’t even decant and also the trouble is bicarbonate beverage – even one like Guinness, the bubbles behave differently without gravity – they won’t settle.
“In fact, they’ll coalesce in the middle and the Guinness will collect around the outsides of the glass and the bubble will form in the centre of the fluid.
“And then you’d be forced to drink Guinness from a straw through the outer parts of the glass or the container so unfortunately it wouldn’t work.
“And so far, there’s been no one to do it so no one has been in a position to drink it.
Hadfield became an overnight global star back in 2013 when a video of him singing David Bowie’s Space Oddity while in space was uploaded onto YouTube.
It remains one of the most iconic videos ever to appear online. The late legend Bowie even fought with his own record company to reinstate the video onto YouTube, after it had been pulled for copyright infringements.
Hadfield has always been popular with Irish people and he has even done work as an ambassador for Tourism Ireland. His daughter studied for her PhD in Trinity College, Dublin while he was in space.
He proudly said: “My family is all from these islands, UK, Scotland and Ireland as far as you can tell back through the genetic link.”
The popular commander has created several videos offering an ‘Astronaut’s Guide to Ireland’.
The 60-year-old spoke to Tubridy about his humble beginnings growing up on a farm in Canada, and how he still enjoys going back home and reminiscing about the good times spent with his family.
He added that the idea of becoming an astronaut seemed far fetched but with work and dedication he achieved his dream.
Hadfield said: “The only thing I could count on was that things are going to change. I thought, ‘The only thing I have control over is myself’. So I started changing myself into someone who might one day be trusted to fly a spaceship.
“I learned to fly, I studied engineering, I learned to scuba dive, I learned languages, I kept my body in shape. They all contributed to a fun and interesting life but also getting selected as an astronaut.”
After he had dismissed the idea that a perfect pint of Guinness could be poured in space, he went on to talk about the possibility of humans populating the moon in the future.
He said: “We’re right now on the cusp of settling the moon.
“In the past year, we’ve discovered huge reserves of water on the moon — 400billion litres — and also the north and south poles of the moon have eternal sunshine. So you have water and solar power. If you have power and water, you have the necessary ingredients for life.
“The real question is if technology is good enough for life. It sounds far-fetched and crazy. But it would be impossible to live in Ireland without technology. You need to be able to make clothing and build shelter and preserve food or you couldn’t live here.
“But we just sort of take it for granted. We’re right on the cusp right now. There’s never been a better time to have the opportunity to pursue things in your heart, including — if that’s what you want to do — being an astronaut or one of the early settlers on the moon.”
Hadfield was speaking as part of the launch of Electric Ireland’s Brighter Energy Programme, which encourages customers to maximise energy efficiency.
You can listen to the interview in full by visiting RTE.