February 19, 2020 | 10:29 AM IST
International Space Station

NASA sends a dozen wine bottles to space to test ageing effects

A dozen bottles of red Bordeaux wine were sent at the orbiting lab of International Space Station (ISS) on Monday on an experimental basis for a year. The bottles were flown aboard a Northrop Grumman capsule launched from Virginia on Saturday, packed in a metal container to prevent breakage. The experts will study how weightlessness and space radiation affects the ageing process of wine.
The experiment is the first of the six space missions intended to revolve around the future of agriculture in space and to develop new flavours and properties for the food industries. After a year, the age of these wines that have stayed in space will be compared to wines that have aged on Earth.

The capsule that took the consignment provided by Space Cargo Unlimited, a Luxembourg start-up company to space contains multiple commercial ventures, an oven for baking chocolate chip cookies and samples of carbon fibre used by Lamborghini in its sports cars.
This is not the first time NASA has sent food and beverages to ISS. A Japanese company known for its whiskey and other alcoholic drinks, barley seeds have been sent up to the ISS over the years.

Universities in Bordeaux, France, and Bavaria, Germany are working on the French wine ageing experiment.

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