In November 2019, a Luxembourg-based startup called Space Cargo Unlimited, in conjunction with universities in Bordeaux, France, and Bavaria, Germany, delivered 12 bottles of wine to the International Space Station (ISS). Packed individually in metal canisters to prevent breakage, the bottles will remain onboard ISS for one year before returning to Earth for study.
In a company video announcing the experiment, Scientific Director Michael Lebert explained that, since wine contains both yeast and bacteria in chemical processes, it’s “ideal for space study.” According to Associated Press, researchers are interested to learn how weightlessness and space radiation affect the aging process.
Curiously (or maybe not), this isn’t the first alcohol to make its way skyward. Budweiser has previously sent barley seeds to ISS, a Japanese company sent whiskey samples, and a fine Scotch has also made the trip. In 1985, a French astronaut brought a bottle of wine along on space shuttle Discovery (it wasn’t opened during flight).