The International Space Station again bid for 12 bottles of Bordeaux wine and hundreds of vines on Tuesday. These grapes have spent a year orbiting the world in the name of science.
Wine and vines-and thousands of pounds of other tools and research, including mice-will splash on the SpaceX Dragon capsule in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa on Wednesday night.
Bottles of French wine (each bottle is contained in a steel bottle to prevent breakage) remain in the cork of the orbital laboratory.
Until the end of February, none of the bottles will be opened. By then, Space Cargo Unlimited, the company behind the experiment, will taste one or two bottles among some of the top connoisseurs in Bordeaux, France. Chemical tests will be conducted in the next few months. Researchers are eager to see how space changes deposits and bubbles.
The company’s CEO and co-founder Nicolas Gaume (Nicolas Gaume) said that agricultural science is the main goal, although he admits that wine tasting can be fun.
Gao Mei of Bordeaux said: “Our goal is to solve tomorrow how to have organic, healthy, and able to feed human agriculture solutions. We believe that space is the key.”
Gao Mei said that with climate change, agricultural products such as grapes will need to adapt to more severe conditions. Through a series of space experiments, Space Cargo Unlimited hopes to learn the lessons learned from the emphasis on plant weightlessness and transform it into stronger and more resilient plants on earth.
There is another advantage. Gaume hopes that future explorers will go to the moon, and Mars will want to enjoy some of the fun of the earth. He told the Associated Press: “As a Frenchman, having some food and wine is part of life.”
Gao Mei said that private investors provided funding for the experiment. He refused to provide project fees.
The wine took the Northrop Grumman supply ship on the journey to the space station in November 2019. In March last year, SpaceX launched 320 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grape fragments, known as “vines” in the grape growing industry.