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Suntory to launch whisky into space

Japanese whisky producer, Suntory will send samples of whisky to the International Space Station to study the effect of zero gravity has on ageing.

Lost in space: Some of Suntory's whisky brands.
Lost in space: Some of Suntory’s whisky brands.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Japanese brewing and distilling giant will send six samples of whisky and other alcoholic beverages to the International Space Station for at least a year in order to study the effect that zero gravity has on ageing.

According to a Suntory spokesman, the samples will be carried in glass flask and include a 21-year-old single malt and a recently distilled beverage. Research has shown that whisky aged in an environment with little temperature change, convection of fluids and shaking tends to be become “mellower,” he said. Suntory is keen to see how the space environment affects the taste of its projects, he added.

After the samples return to Earth, whisky blenders will compare how they taste to those aged normally on the ground.

The samples will be carried to the space station on 16 August on Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s transfer vehicle Kounotori. The first samples will return to Earth in about a year, while the rest will remain in space for at least two years.

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