Would You Drink Wine From Space?
I've been dreaming about life in space since I was a wee lad. I was entranced by sci-fi movies and books that depicted humans living (rather lavishly, I might add) among the stars. The reality of human space exploration is rudimentary when compared to the gigantic, city sized space stations of master wordsmiths like Arthur C. Clarke. Just living in space is a feat in and of itself, luxuries just aren't on the menu - that is, until now.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule that returned to earth earlier this month after a short stay at the International Space Station brought back a dozen bottles of French Bordeaux that had been aging in space for the past year. The astronauts (who incidentally pulled off a world record liquor store run) also brought back around 320 merlot and cabernet sauvignon vine snippets that had been living at the ISS as part of an agricultural experiment.
The goal was to to find what (if any) differences the wine and vine snippets would show after being subjected to the strange properties life outside of earth's atmosphere provides. Scientists are eager to learn how zero-gravity affects things like bubbles and sediment in the wine. Wine connoisseurs, vintners, and sommeliers are eager to sample the astro-wine to see how breaking the surly bonds of our planet's gravity affects the vino's taste.
Unfortunately, they will have to wait to pop the space-bottles until February when the out-of-this-world tasting occurs. Afterwards, scientists will take the rest for "chemical analysis" (AKA: Lab coat party). I'm hoping that the eggheads at NASA shoot for space-whiskey next.