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Wiiiiine Iiiiiiin Spaaaaaace (wine in space)

Wiiiiine Iiiiiiin Spaaaaaace (wine in space)

wine in space

For only the second time in human history, one of our planet’s most interesting beverages has slipped the surly bonds of Earth — for science! For only the second time in human history, one of our planet’s most interesting beverages has slipped the surly bonds of Earth — for science! Space Cargo Unlimited, a startup that supplies pressurized vehicles for space research, has recently taken delivery of a package that has spent over a year on the International Space Station: 12 bottles of Bordeaux wine and 360 vine canes. Part of the company’s MissionWise program (which investigates how agricultural products react in space as a trial for the pressures of climate change), the vino and vines will head to the University of Bordeaux’s Institute of Vine and Wine Science (ISVV). There, they will be checked for any changes their trip has caused — and the wines (six bottles each of Cab Sauv and Merlot) will later undergo a private tasting! From Decanter:

“Properties in the wines and vines will also be compared against control samples that stayed behind on earth.

‘We’re going to look at everything that has evolved,’ [Space Cargo Unlimited’s CEO Nicolas] Gaume said.

‘We’ll do a whole genome sequencing of the plants, to provide a clear view of all the DNA changes that could have happened on the stay on the ISS.’ […]

Gaume described the absence of gravity, or microgravity, as the ‘ultimate stress’. He said researchers involved in the project were interested in learning more about how the vine canes may have adapted or evolved in a relatively short time to be resilient to the stressful conditions.”
 
The previous oenological mission was STS-51-G, a flight of the space shuttle Discovery in June 1985, on which a French payload specialist brought a bottle of Château Lynch Bages (again, a Bordeaux), more as a publicity stunt for the region than anything else. This time around, the full analysis that ISVV promises will hopefully teach us something key about wine, space, and climate change, all at once. Thirsty work, indeed!and 360 vine canes. Part of the company’s MissionWise program (which investigates how agricultural products react in space as a trial for the pressures of climate change), the vino and vines will head to the University of Bordeaux’s Institute of Vine and Wine Science (ISVV). There, they will be checked for any changes their trip has caused — and the wines (six bottles each of Cab Sauv and Merlot) will later undergo a private tasting! From Decanter:

“Properties in the wines and vines will also be compared against control samples that stayed behind on earth.

‘We’re going to look at everything that has evolved,’ [Space Cargo Unlimited’s CEO Nicolas] Gaume said.

‘We’ll do a whole genome sequencing of the plants, to provide a clear view of all the DNA changes that could have happened on the stay on the ISS.’ […]

Gaume described the absence of gravity, or microgravity, as the ‘ultimate stress’. He said researchers involved in the project were interested in learning more about how the vine canes may have adapted or evolved in a relatively short time to be resilient to the stressful conditions.”
 
The previous oenological mission was STS-51-G, a flight of the space shuttle Discovery in June 1985, on which a French payload specialist brought a bottle of Château Lynch Bages (again, a Bordeaux), more as a publicity stunt for the region than anything else. This time around, the full analysis that ISVV promises will hopefully teach us something key about wine, space, and climate change, all at once. Thirsty work, indeed!