Why 12 bottles of fine wine have been sent off to the space station

Why 12 bottles of fine wine have been sent off to the space station
By: Technology Posted On: November 04, 2019 View: 11

Why 12 bottles of fine wine have been sent off to the space station

A dozen bottles of fine wine and an oven to bake cookies have been delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) - but it is all in the name of research.

The 12 French reds have not been taken into orbit so the astronauts can throw a party, but to help study how weightlessness and space radiation affect the ageing process.

After spending a year in space, the bottles of Bordeaux will be taken back to Earth.

The oven that will bake cookies in space

The oven, which can bake chocolate-chip cookies, also arrived at the ISS on Monday aboard a Northrop Grumman capsule that was launched from Virginia on Saturday.

Each bottle was packed in a metal canister to prevent breakage.

Universities in Bordeaux, France, and Bavaria, Germany, are taking part in the experiment from Space Cargo Unlimited, a Luxembourg start-up.

Michael Lebert, the experiment's scientific director, said wine was ideal for space study as it is made using both yeast and bacteria, and involves chemical processes.

More from International Space Station

This is the first of six space missions planned by the company over the next three years touching on the future of agriculture given our changing world.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure," Nicolas Gaume, chief executive and co-founder of Space Cargo Unlimited, said.

The box that is being used to take the wines to the International Space Station. Pic: NASA
Image: The box that is being used to take the wines to the International Space Station. Pic: NASA

NASA is opening the space station to more business opportunities like this and, eventually, even private astronaut missions.

The Cygnus capsule that docked successfully earlier also contains samples of carbon fibre used by Lamborghini in its sports cars.

It is not the first time alcohol has gone into space in the name of science.

The oven will be used to prepare cookies. Pic: zerogk.space
Image: The oven will be used to prepare chocolate-chip cookies. Pic: zerogk.space

Budweiser has already sent barley seeds to the station, while in 2015, a Japanese company known for whiskey sent up samples.

Scotch also made a visit to space in another experiment.

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