Space Age: 12 bottles of Red wine sent to International Space Station

Cargo Unlimited researchers with Space Cargo Unlimited prepare bottles of French red wine to be flown aboard a Northrop Grumman capsule from Wallops Island Va. to the International Space Station

Case of fine wine launched into space, but astronauts can't drink

Wine additionally made an appearance in orbit aboard the Discovery shuttle in 1985, when French astronaut Patrick Baudry introduced along a half bottle of 1975 Château Lynch-Bages as half of his cargo.

When they finally get some downtime, their options for leisure activities are slim, so you'd expect that a recent supply mission that delivered a dozen bottles of red wine would be a cause for celebration.

The bottles of red Bordeaux wine have been sent to space to age for a year before they return to the Earth's surface. Company officials say researchers will study how weightlessness and space radiation affect the aging process. The goal is to develop new flavors and properties for the food industry.

The bottles flew up aboard a Northrop Grumman capsule that launched from Virginia on Saturday and arrived on the Worldwide Area Station on Monday.

The clarets in question were packed individually in metal, breakage-proof canisters and will spend a year in space, presumably closed, just taunting the over-Tang-ed taste buds of all aboard. The experiment is being conducted by a Luxembourg-based start-up, called Space Cargo Unlimited along with the Universities of Bordeaux, France, and Bavaria, Germany.

As a control group, samples of the space-bound wine will remain here, amongst us humans on Earth, and will be aged simultaneously for the same 12-month period. A company spokeswoman told the outlet that any leftovers will be poured for the people who funded the research.

Nicolas Gaume, chief executive and co-founder of Space Cargo Unlimited, said: "This is a once in a lifetime adventure". In the meanwhile, NASA is also opening the space station to more business ventures like this, and eventually, private astronaut missions.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that other items also accompanied the wine, including the carbon fibre used in Lamborghinis and a chocolate chip cookie oven.

Budweiser has already despatched barley seeds to the station, with a watch to changing into the beverage of selection on Mars.

As for high-flying wine cellars, this isn't the first. The idea is to see what effect, if any, space conditions have on the microorganisms living in wine.

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