The next great step in human evolution is here! We are sending whiskey to space.
But wait, this is not a welcome gift for any extraterrestrial beings out there. It’s not for a Friday night shindig on the International Space Station.
It’s for science.
A Japanese distiller, Suntory, is sending 10 bottles of whiskey to the International Space Station to research how the low-gravity environment effects the aging process.
Suntory is taking a look into the science behind “mellowing”, or the process by which alcohol becomes smoother due to proper aging. Although others have studied mellowing in the past, no concrete conclusions have been proposed. Perhaps the answer is space!
Two groups of whiskeys are going up. Both groups consist of five whiskeys that have been aged for various periods of time. The first group will stay on the space station for 13 months. The second group will stay for two or more years. Back on Earth, the same whiskey will be held as a control, so that the only variable should be gravity.
When the whiskey comes home, it’ll be tested by complex mediums including a phase shifting interferometer, small-angle X-ray scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance.
What these tests will be looking at is the distribution of substances, molecular structure and just a whole bevy of other things. The hypothesis is that “the formation of high-dimensional molecular structure consisting of water, ethanol and other ingredients in alcoholic beverages contributes to the development of mellowness.”
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This isn’t the first time whiskey has been sent into space. Back in 2011, Ardbeg sent up some Scotch for a similar experiment.
The Suntory whiskey left Earth Aug. 16. Unfortunately, it won’t be available for public consumption when it gets back.
Shame. Space whiskey would’ve been so cool.