Former NASA astronaut Doug Hurley’s first post-retirement gig is all about encouraging people to stay on Earth. Hurley, who commanded SpaceX’s first crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in May 2020, has partnered with beer brand Busch Light on a marketing campaign called “Share a Case Against Space” aimed at raising awareness for Earth conservation.
“These days, it seems like everybody thinks they can be an astronaut. As someone who’s actually been one, I’m here to ask you to not,” Hurley said in a promotional video for Busch Light. “When I was up there looking back down on Earth, all I could really think about was—Damn, I really miss beer!”
Beer can’t exist in space. A zero-gravity environment prevents carbonation from rising, turning beer into a foamy mess that’s impossible to drink.
“It’s shocking but true: there is no beer in the final frontier,” Hurley said in a statement. “So I’m partnering with Busch Light this Earth Month to help protect and preserve our only beer-friendly planet, because nothing beats drinking an ice cold beer after a long trip across the universe.”
From now through April 30, beer lovers are encouraged to share their thoughts on why it’s better to stay on Earth drinking beer instead of going to space on Twitter under the hashtag #CaseAgainstSpace. The person with the most creative case will receive a year’s supply of free beer and a space helmet, Busch Light said.
“While the tone of our mission is lighthearted, it comes from a very serious desire to preserve and protect our earthly surroundings for all to enjoy,” said Krystyn Stowe, Head of Marketing for Busch Family Brands at Anheuser-Busch, the owner of Busch Light.
“There’s nothing against space, but we want to save our planet,” Stowe added. “Having someone who has such a decorated career like Doug really brings the juxtaposition that helps hit that message home.”
In addition to the social media campaign, for every case of beer sold during the month of April, Busch Light will donate a portion of proceeds to One Tree Planted, a nonprofit supporting reforestation.
Hurley, 56, is a former Marine Corps pilot and was a NASA astronaut for 21 years until his retirement in July 2021. He piloted two Space Shuttle missions in 2009 and 2011, respectively. The Space Shuttle program is a discontinued NASA initiative that regularly flew astronauts into orbit and to the ISS from the 1980s to 2011 using a spaceplane.
The Space Shuttle’s successor, a spacecraft called Crew Dragon developed by SpaceX, debuted in 2021. Hurley was one of the two NASA astronauts (along with Bob Behnken) on Crew Dragon’s maiden flight to the ISS on May 30, 2020. They stayed on the space station for two months and returned to Earth aboard the same SpaceX spacecraft in August 2020.
In January, Hurley and Behnken were awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor for their contributions to space exploration. They are the first recipients of this honor in 17 years.