Perhaps the most important story of our time:
This month, Suntory will be loading up the Kounotori 5 transfer vehicle — due to launch from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center on August 16 — with five kinds of whisky (along with 40% ethanol) to mature for a few years on the International Space Station.
Tokyo University’s Institute for Solid State Physics, Tohoku University’s Institute of Fluid Science, the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute and the Suntory Foundation for Life Sciences are all excited to see if a microgravity environment at a space station can affect alcoholic beverages, specifically the mellowing process, according to Suntory’s press release.
The whisky experiment will be conducted on the International Space Station’s Japanese Experiment Module nicknamed “Kibo.” This is the same module where there happens to be a lonely robot called Kirobo. I kind of hope the adorable robot channels his inner Bender from “Futurama” and has a few shots of the space whisky.
While sending whisky in space to be tested for taste differences may sound more like a sci-fi movie plot waiting to happen, this isn’t the first time a beverage company tested the effects of near zero gravity on booze.
In 2011, vials of Ardbeg Scotch whisky were sent to the International Space Station for similar reasons.
Beats the hell out of Tang.