‘In The Name of Science’

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Twelve bottles of wine are sent to the International Space Station so effects of microgravity on the aging process can be studied

Reposted from the www.dailymail.co.uk/ Written by: By STACY LIBERATORE

Astronauts aboard the International Space just received a case of wine that is out of this world. A Luxembourg-based wine company launched 12 bottles of red wine to the craft that will be aged for an entire year ‘in the name of science’. Researchers are set to study how weightlessness and space radiation affect the aging process, with the hopes of developing new flavors and properties for the food industry.  The wine will not be consumed by the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS), but will be used in an experiment into how microgravity affects wine’s aging process, Techcrunch reported.

While there are 12 bottles in space, the wine company has donated another 12 bottles for researchers to study on Earth – allowing them to compare the batches after the year. Both the samples on the ISS and on Earth will remain sealed and kept at 64 degrees Fahrenheit. And the researchers have predicted that the two batches will taste different at the end of the experiment.

The red wine was just one of a few odd items launched to the space station on Saturday from Allops Island, Virginia, U.S., by aerospace company Northrop Grumman by the European startup Space Cargo Unlimited. The care package, weighing about four tons, also includes sports car parts and a baking oven and cookie dough to make chocolate chip cookies. Astronauts aboard the ISS will test the ‘Zero-G’ oven by baking chocolate chip cookies from dough that was sent into space by Hilton Double Tree earlier this year.  Astronauts have never baked before aboard the ISS, only warming food with an existing ‘oven’ – they usually avoid food that produces crumbs that may float around the cabin and cause problems. Typical ovens rely on the convection of hot air to evenly warm the food, meaning adaptations must be made for the ISS’s microgravity kitchen.

Hilton, which created the oven in partnership with New York company Zero G Kitchen, said: ‘In a typical convection oven on Earth, there is a continuous cycle of hot air rising and cool air moving in to replace it, setting up a constant flow of air in the oven called a convection current that allows for even cooking. However, the International Space Station (and space in general) is a microgravity environment, so there is no “up” direction for the hot air to float towards – meaning, we can only depend on heat being conducted through the air.’

A NASA ground controller called it a ‘good launch all the way around’ on Saturday. Other newly arriving equipment will be used in a series of NASA spacewalks later this month to fix a key particle physics detector.