A dozen bottles of wine are being sent to the ISS (International Space Station) to study the effects of weightlessness and space radiation on the aging process of wine. The wine will age for a year before being sent back to earth to be compared to the Bordeaux aged on earth. The experiment is being done to help in the development of new flavours properties in the food industry. The bottles were sent in a Northrop Grumman capsule that was launched from Virginia on Saturday and was delivered to the space station on Monday. Metal canisters were used to pack the bottles so that they don’t break during their space journey. However, the astronauts on the ISS are not allowed to take a single sip of the drink as being tipsy could cause them to lose senses and cause damage to the space station. The leftover wine from the research will be given to the parties involved in funding for the experiment.
Wine is ideal for space study according to Michael Lebert, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Wine uses both yeast and bacteria and chemical processing is involved. “This is a once in a lifetime adventure” said Nicolas Gaume, the chief executive and co-founder of Space Cargo Unlimited, a Luxembourg startup.
NASA plans on opening the space station to more business opportunities like these and even private astronaut missions.
The capsule that arrived on Monday also contained an oven for baking chocolate chip cookies and samples of carbon fiber used in Lamborghini’s sports cars.
A Japanese company in 2015 had sent other alcoholic drinks up as samples. Scotch has also made a visit to the space station as a part of another experiment.