The International Space Station made a bid on Tuesday offering 12 bottles of Bordeaux wine and hundreds of grapes it took a year to orbit the Earth in the name of science.
Wine and vines – and thousands of pounds of other equipment and research, including rats, will splash on a SpaceX Dragon capsule on Wednesday night in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa.
Each French wine bottle sits in a steel barrel to prevent rupture ̵1; remains closed on the orbiting lab.
There won’t be any bottles to be opened until the end of February.That’s when Space Cargo Unlimited, the company behind the trials, will open a bottle or two for tasting in Bordeaux by the top French connoisseur. Months of chemical testing will follow. The researchers are eager to see how the area changes for precipitation and air bubbles.
Nicolas Gaume, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said agricultural science was the main goal, although he admitted tasting wine was fun.
“Our goal is to solve the problem of how we can have agriculture of tomorrow that is both organic and healthy and able to feed humanity and we think space is key,” said Gaume from Bordeaux.
With climate change, Gaume said agricultural products like grapes will have to adapt to more extreme conditions. As a result of space experiments, Space Cargo Unlimited hopes to take the lessons learned from stressing plants in microgravity and translate that into stronger and more resilient plants on Earth.
Another benefit, Gaume expects future explorers to reach the Moon, and Mars will want to enjoy the pleasures of the Earth. “Being French, having good food and good wine is part of his life.” With the Associated Press
Gaume said private investors helped support the trial. He refused to cost the project.
Wine arrived at the space station in November 2019 aboard Northrop Grumman’s supply ship.A sample of 320 pieces of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines called Canes in the viticulture business was launched by SpaceX in March.