They were brought into space in November 2019 and March 2020, respectively, as part of an experiment organized by European startup Space Cargo Unlimited (SCU) said in a statement released Monday.
The research, called Mission Wise, is exploring ways to develop “A new way to grow plants on the planet and scale up to feed more people on the planet”
The vines will be analyzed to see how they change during time in space, where the effects of gravity and higher radiation exposure on Earth will accelerate genetic changes.
Scientists then compare it with samples still on Earth, with the aim of adapting the vines to grow in more extreme environments.
Expert tasters will taste 12 bottles of Bordeaux to see how space time affects the wine.
“Space Cargo Unlimited will investigate how space radiation and gravity affect wine components during the aging process,” the company said in a statement in November 2019. “This can provide results that help in understanding the flavor enhancement. And food conservation “
Researchers believe that vines and wine are “Best learning materials” to assess the future of agriculture as climate change continues to change growing conditions.
The researchers say that woody plants, such as the vines, are critical to feeding human populations. But they have never been studied in space.
“This could be a game changer to unlock tomorrow’s agriculture,” said Michael Lebert, SCU Chief Scientific Officer.
Planned future trials include measuring the effect of site conditions on bacterial and yeast fermentation, SCU said.