Red Wine Gets Sent To Age Out In Space

Fancy some wine? Maybe this delectably aged red wine shipped from overseas? Perhaps a taste of our local selection? How about some space wine?

You heard that right, space wine. As in, wine aged in outer space. Just recently, a startup from Europe launched some of their red vin de table out to space and into the International Space Station (ISS), where it will stay for 12 months.

Of course, it’s more of a science experiment than a tasting test since wine research in space is very, very little (then again, why would it be big in the first place?).

A complex process that involves both yeast and bacteria, the science behind wine fermentation has long been unlocked by winemakers. However, how that process will fare up in the weightless environment of space is yet to be uncovered, and scientists are excited to see how it will affect the taste and composition of wine.

"Space Cargo Unlimited will investigate how space radiation and microgravity affect wine components during the aging process. This could yield results that help in understanding taste enhancement and food conservation. In this approach, Space Cargo Unlimited is following in the footsteps of Louis Pasteur, a founding father of modern biology, who, while studying wine in the 19th century, discovered the existence of bacteria and how to maximize the role of yeast," the company, Space Cargo Unlimited, said in a statement.

Twelve bottles of the company’s wine have been launched onboard the Cygnus spacecraft, which left for the ISS last November 2 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. According to the company, the dozen bottles are the first of upcoming six experiments that Mission WISE will be doing for the next 26 months.

Additionally, the company will also be analyzing plants in space to see how they’ll adapt to the different environment and conditions.

"We intend to pave the way to our future by helping to invent the agriculture and food we need for tomorrow," Nicolas Gaume, co-founder and CEO of Space Cargo Unlimited, said in the statement.

A glass of red wine Drinking a glass of red wine could relieve depression, researchers have found. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, Public Domain