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The first aging wine auction in space.  How does it relate to science?

The first aging wine auction in space. How does it relate to science?

Trying old wine on a space station isn’t just fun for wealthy connoisseurs. Thanks to it, new ways of storing food may appear.

Just over a year ago, NASA boasted to Frontiers in Plant Science that lettuce grown on the International Space Station (ISS) is as nutritious and safe as those grown on Earth’s surface. After a thorough analysis, it was found that in space it is possible to grow edible leaf plants that could serve as a healthy food supplement for the astronauts.

Trying lettuce doesn’t seem like a great achievement. However, breeding Fresh food In space of great importance for every space agency, especially with regard to plans for interplanetary travel. And here comes the question about 12 bottles Wayna Petros Pomerol From 2000.

It was tested in orbit

WISE experiment (Grape wine at the distance experienceThat is, experiment with grapes of wine in space) is delivering 12 bottles of expensive Merlot to the International Space Station with a Northrop Grumman missile and Cygnus at the beginning of November 2019, then Their aging in the case of microgravity For 439 days.

The Luxembourg space startup behind the project, Space Cargo Unlimited, deals with services targeting the world’s richest people. SCU’s business idea is somewhat reminiscent of past sponsorships, pushing the elite for interesting art projects – or, as it is here, scientific – with the goal of getting rich later.

The customer-beneficiary pays more than $ 1 million for a single place in the reservation and the ability to place any item or objects (such as watches) in it, and then send it to LEO. There, experiments in microgravity can be conducted, which should increase the value of the product when “tested in space”. From the scientific and technical side of SCU, partners include NASA, European Space Agency, SpaceX, Airbus, Thales Alenia Space or Blue Origin.

WISE’s mission ended earlier this year. dozen Bottles of wine It orbited the Earth for 14 months at an altitude of 400 km. Slightly shorter, because for 312 days, 320 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grape seedlings were kept on the International Space Station. According to the information on the Space Cargo Unlimited website, alcohol Loitering “zero gravity” It covered at a speed of 28.8 thousand. Km / h the total distance is 300 million km.

NASA launched the same research project with the aging of wine and the cutting of CommuBios grape bushes (Compound Microbiological System). It served, as we read on its dedicated site, to study the mechanisms that occur during “the ripening of multi-component drinks in the global environment”.

Inspiration for the food industry

Much control Error The same time was observed as she was aging on Earth. Subsequent analyzes of chemical composition as well as blind taste helped to determine the differences in both processes aging, As well as in terms of taste or other sensory qualities ascribed to wine by experts.

The results of such experiments, according to NASA, allow us to assess how our components work food They change during space flight. The conclusions should be used to develop medicines and foods and to develop appropriate methods for storing them or growing plants that can survive a long spaceflight.

Experimenting with wines kept at a constant temperature of 18 ° C also points to the work of Louis Pasteur, who accidentally invented pasteurization through his experiments with fermentation. Error. The authors of the WISE / CommuBios project hope its results will be used by the food industry.

“At the start of this mission we assumed that we were keeping samples Error On board the International Space Station, under conditions of microgravity and microscopic radiation, this will affect the microorganisms present in wine, and likely also positively – explained SCU’s scientific advisor, Professor. Philip Darrett of the University’s Institute for Wine Research in Bordeaux.

Different flavor after aging in space

Wine from the International Space Station has returned to Earth in Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Dragon Rover. In March, some bottles were opened for testing at the French ISVV institute (Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences). A committee of dozens of scientists and liquorologists made the comparison.Cosmic wineWith its terrestrial counterpart.

Experts concluded that space-dwelling Pétrus has a slightly different structure and taste. And we’re talking about wines that first ripened for 20 years on Earth, then one batch for a year in space, and the other is still on the planet’s surface. At the press conference, it was announced that the terrestrial and cosmic taste is good despite Merlot Aging on the International Space Station It has a slightly changing color (darker) and aroma (more floral).

As for the auction, it will include the cosmic planetary duo of bottles. A wealthy buyer will be able to personally compare his tastes. The set, which will cost you over a million dollars, will include a handcrafted wooden box, clapper and key made from the meteorite. According to the Wine Spectator, a “normal” bottle Wine 2000 Peter Pomerol Costs in the auction are equivalent to 17 thousand. PLN.

Resources: Unlimited space chargingAnd the NASAAnd the Wine spectators.