Wine cellar in space: 12 bottles arrive for year of aging

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A dozen bottles of fine French wine arrived at the space station Monday, not for the astronauts, but for science.

The red Bordeaux wine will age for a year up there before returning to Earth. Researchers will study how weightlessness and space radiation affect the aging process. The goal is to develop new flavors and properties for the food industry. Universities in Bordeaux, France, and Bavaria, Germany, are taking part in the experiment from Space Cargo Unlimited, a Luxembourg startup.

As for high-flying wine cellars, this isn’t the first. A French astronaut took along a bottle of wine aboard shuttle Discovery in 1985. The bottle remained corked in orbit.

Budweiser has already sent barley seeds to the station, with an eye to becoming the beverage of choice on Mars.