bud on mars
Budweiser wants to be the first beer on Mars. Budweiser

There’s something a little extra special from Budweiser scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in December. The company is launching two barley experiments to the station where it will spend a month before is returned to Earth for research, Budweiser announced Tuesday.

The experiments are the first step Budweiser is taking toward becoming the first beer brewed in space, a goal is set earlier this year. The idea is that anyone living on Mars should be able to have access to the same "enjoyments provided here on Earth." While there are no plans to send any beer or any beer ingredients to Mars on the next mission to the Red Planet, the experiments on the ISS are a start.

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

The experiments are set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 4 as part of a payload rocketed to the ISS by SpaceX. The reason the experts at Budweiser as well as at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, CASIS, the manager of the ISS, chose barley is that it’s the key to creating the malt necessary for beer production.

The experiments are meant to study how the barley seeds react in an anti-gravity environment. Once will focus on barley seed exposure and the other will focus on barley germination, or the process by which the seed turns into an actual sprout. The hope is that the researchers involved will learn more about the possibility of growing barley in space, but that the research might also be applicable to growing practices here on Earth.

There will be 20 Budweiser barley seeds included in the payload that will launch to the ISS in December. Those seeds will be packaged in two Space Tango CubeLabs, according to Budweiser. Those mini labs are about the size of a shoe box and are meant to host small-scale experiments. They will stay in the labs for about 30 days before returning to Earth for further examination, and they’re just the first of many experiments Budweiser plans to send to space. Researchers will specifically examine the gene expression and germination of the barley after the 30 days, it will also give researchers a look into how different cultivars react under the stressful conditions of space, according to CASIS.

On launch day a live stream of the launch will be available on NASA’s website as well as on YouTube.