Space tech start-up Space Cargo Unlimited, based in Europe, has launched 12 bottles of red wine to the International Space Station (ISS) to see how the drink, which has been part of human culture for millennia, ages under the conditions of microgravity and space radiation. A Cygnus spacecraft loaded with the cargo docked with the station this week. Does this mean that we will try special space wine soon? Well, researchers predict that the classic drink will taste different, but they will only be able to confirm this in 12 months – after the batch returns to Earth, TechCrunch reports.
How Is the Wine Going to Be Tested?
To see if the conditions of outer space, namely microgravity and non-earthly radiation, will change the aging process and, eventually, the qualities of the alcoholic beverage, researchers are going to compare the ISS samples with wine from the same batch that will age for the same period of time on Earth. Not to let any other factors interfere, the wine will be kept in sealed glass bottles at the same temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, while their complex biological environment will be left to do its magic – or physical and chemical reactions, to put it scientifically.
Although the outlet points out that the experiment looks promising for wine lovers, who may be able to taste a “space-aged” variant of their favourite drink, or wine producers, who are seeking new niches, the start-up is focusing on the scientific dimension.
According to them, their work is more along the lines of “following in the footsteps of Louis Pasteur” and aims to contribute to food preservation and similar technologies.