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12 Wine Bottles at the International Space Station - But Why?

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04/12/2019 Is creating new flavors for wine businesses the only reason to send wines into Space?

The International Space Station has received a dozen bottles of French wine on the 5th of November. Space radiation and weightlessness affecting the age of the wine will be studied. According to researchers, the study is conducted with an aim to develop new flavors and properties for the wine industry.

But is that the only reason?

It is known that NASA is planning to open the space station for business opportunities, but one can only speculate if wines were sent in space only for that reason in particular.

“If you don’t exercise in space for a prolonged period of time, you can lose bone mass and muscle mass and your heart can shrink which is not a good thing.”

                                                                                   -Mike Massiminio, Former NASA Astronaut

Resveratrol, a compound found only in red wine according to a 2019 study published in February showed promising results in over 244 clinical trials to potentially improve the therapeutic outcome in patients suffering from diabetes, mellitus, obesity, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, multiple myeloma and several other diseases. The study conducted by Harvard Medical School also indicated that it could also be used as a compound to protect muscles of astronauts. Muscles of humans fall extremely weak in zero gravity over a period of time and astronauts returning on earth have needed extensive therapy and rest due to a number of impacts of zero gravity on muscle density and spinal lengthening.

Resveratrol is anticipated to become an essential compound for colonizing Mars. A single trip takes around 7 months to reach Mars. Due to the elliptical orbiting this time can vary between 6 to 8 months, which in itself is a very long time to spend on a vessel in order to reach Mars. Hence one needs to make prior arrangements for humans to be able to walk out of the capsule in Mars in perfect shape.

The wines bottles sent to the International Space Station are all red wine which grows the speculation even stronger, since if their purpose was to develop new flavors and properties they would certainly have sent other varietals of wines too.

Previously Budweiser beer had sent barley seeds to the station. Whiskey and other alcoholic drink samples have been sent into space for conducting various experiments. But the choice of US sending 12 bottles of red French wine is a particular choice made and the reasons of which being only to develop flavor seems conspicuous.

Nonetheless the wines were transported using The Cygnus capsule that flew the wine bottles on 3rd November that reached on the 5th at the International Space Station.

Wines are certainly considered as an excellent option to be sent to space considering creation of it involves using both yeast and bacteria and chemical processes according to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg’s Michaegl Lebert, the experiment’s scientific director.


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