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Hooray! Clickbait worked! Now for the question:

Is it even possible to get alcohol to Mars colony under these circumstances?

Situation: We have base on Mars. Mars missions are on level of "ISS missions": Regular human presence is established on Mars. About 10 - 15 people live constantly inside small Martian colony.

This colony is full independent as of water, oxygen and power (ice resources + solar power). Colony can cover about 95% of food demand, rest is delivered by resupply missions.

Astronauts go on 4 year mission to Mars and back. Every two years resupply mission lands with 5 new crew members and after a while 5 of "veterans" go back to Earth.

Space agencies involved:

  • NASA (USA)
  • ESA (EU)
  • Roskosmos (Russia)
  • JASA (Japan)
  • CSA ASC (Canada)

Now, back to the clickbait question. The astronauts in the colony would like to have some alcoholic refreshments available. However, because space travel is still hard and dangerous and Martian colony can have serious issues any time, as a contingency plan all of drugs and alcohol are strictly forbidden on any Mars missions.

While astronauts are aware of the fact that all of them being drunk or even lightly tipsy can be dangerous to the mission, or maybe even lethal, they also know that most severe incident required cooperation of three astronauts in order to estabilish "normal" status.

(So, in other calculations, two astronauts can be drunk like Czech and the mission can most probably survive)

The thing is:

  • All equipment on Mars base is monitored and all "food" related equipment usage is being reported to the mission control (to know how much food to deliver)
  • All laboratory equipment is also monitored and mission control is trying to have all laboratory equipment utilized
  • All equipment being delivered to Mars go through several checks and is cataloged

All astronauts are trained and go through psychology tests to make sure they will go through 4 years without any problem.

But the thing is, the Martian nights are long and even if its really thrilling to be there out in the wild and explore the unexplored, one would surely enjoy the empty emptiness of Mars with glass of something "spicy"

Are we able to fulfill the needs of Astronauts?

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closed as off-topic by Mołot, Aify, Azuaron, James, AndreiROM Jan 5 '17 at 20:00

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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if mission psychologist would really think 4 years prohibition a good idea. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 5 '17 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ Our species has had thousands of years to develop various means of smuggling and getting contraband past detection. This is just the next step of that evolution. $\endgroup$ – cobaltduck Jan 5 '17 at 18:07
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    $\begingroup$ @GrinningX I don't think either user meant to suggest it was a need, and social convention is not something to be considered as trivial. Nor can one realistically suppose that the astronauts are free from social norms, desire for comfort, or (in the extreme case) addiction. $\endgroup$ – DBPriGuy Jan 5 '17 at 19:22
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    $\begingroup$ "Drugs & alcohol strictly forbidden"? Given that this is in a place that at its closest is at least 46 million miles (54 million km) from the nearest DEA office, just how do you expect it to be enforced? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jan 5 '17 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ @GrinningX in this question we are clearly talking about people from a drinking culture - and in situation where astronauts were not chosen for abstinency. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 5 '17 at 19:37
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Why bring the booze all the way across space when you can make it right there on Mars?

This would immediately circumvent this problem:

All equipment being delivered to Mars go through several checks and is cataloged

Now, the astronauts still have a couple problems to get around:

All equipment on Mars base is monitored and all "food" related equipment usage is being reported to the mission control (to know how much food to deliver)

But by whom? After all, unless mission control has a camera on every crate of supplies, it's likely up to the astronauts to report their food usage. Thus, whoever is reporting the food usage can lie. This detail is important:

Colony can cover about 95% of food demand, rest is delivered by resupply missions.

This seems to imply that the colonists are growing some of their food. So what they can do is to lie about just what and how much they are growing. Let's suppose they fill a few plots with barley, hops, and wheat, and just so happen to forget these crops when reporting them to mission control.

Okay. We have our raw materials for our tasty Martian Surprise. But we need something to brew it in. I know! Our lab equipment! Oh, but wait:

All laboratory equipment is also monitored and mission control is trying to have all laboratory equipment utilized

But our clever astronauts can figure their way around this. One way would again be to lie about what they're using it for: Propose to use the equipment for some scientific study, then fabricate the results. Or they could lie and say the equipment was broken en route, and they're keeping it in the storage closet that oh-so-happens to have no cameras until it can be picked up and sent back to Earth. Heck, if they really want to sell the lie, they can break a nonessential-to-brewing part of the equipment itself.

If they're feeling really gutsy, they could propose a scientific experiment that requires brewing equipment. Something like "Activity of Yeast in Martian Gravity". This way they could even have commercial yeast sent to them to really get going!

P.S. Supposing that MC does have cameras and surveillance on what exactly is being grown at base, it's worth noting that just about anything can be fermented, so it doesn't necessarily have to be crops as suspicious as the three I mentioned above.

P.P.S I think the study of Martian viticulture promises to be a fascinating field, don't you?

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    $\begingroup$ Most of unmalted stuff needs enzyme addition to ferment, or special mix of microbes. With exception of fruit. I imagine malting barley wouldn't be trivial. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 5 '17 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ As an addendum: certainly there will be chemists on Mars who will fully understand the chemistry of fermentation. Besides, there will be plenty of bacteria crawling around that the colonists brought with them. It won't take long to breed a strain that makes really nice alcohol. $\endgroup$ – Green Jan 5 '17 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot All you need for fermentation is yeast (well, plus water, sugars and spices such as hops), and however much you sterilize you will get yeast with you up. It won't be lager, but it will do the trick $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Jan 5 '17 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot as long as you're going to distill it afterwards, brewing "cesspit" is perfectly sufficient - as long as you have some yeast (any! baker's yeast will do) and you can do it cleanly to kill vinegar-producing bacteria, you can ferment pretty much anything, separate the horribly tasting parts and potentially poisonous byproducts from pure ethanol, and then use it for artificially flavoured engineered strong drinks. $\endgroup$ – Peteris Jan 5 '17 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ Consider that alcohol is produced in many (most?) prisons. Your Martian explorers have two advantages over those prisoners, no snap inspections and scientific/engineering training for the would-be brewers. people.howstuffworks.com/prison-toilet-wine.htm $\endgroup$ – o.m. Jan 5 '17 at 19:34

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