In this Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 photo provided by Space Cargo Unlimited, researchers with Space Cargo Unlimited prepare bottles of French red wine to be flown aboard a Northrop Grumman capsule from Wallops Island, Va., to the International Space Station. The wine will age for a year up there before returning to the Luxembourg company. Company officials say researchers will study how weightlessness and space radiation affect the aging process. (Space Cargo Unlimited via AP)

Wine cellar in space: 12 bottles arrive for yearlong stay

November 04, 2019 - 1:38 pm

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The International Space Station's latest delivery includes 12 bottles of fine French wine.

A Luxembourg company sent up the red wine, not for the astronauts to drink but rather in the name of science.

The wine will age for a year up there before returning to Space Cargo Unlimited. Company officials say 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.

The bottles flew up aboard a Northrop Grumman capsule that launched from Virginia on Saturday and arrived at the orbiting lab Monday. Each bottle was packed in a metal canister to prevent breakage.

NASA is opening the space station to more business opportunities like this and, eventually, even private astronaut missions.

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