Wine cellar in space: 12 bottles arrive for yearlong stay

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Wine bottles sit in a boutique shop in Le Cannet-des-Maures, in the Provence region, Thursday Oct. 10, 2019. European producers of premium specialty agricultural products like French wine, are facing a U.S. tariff hike on Friday, with dollars 7.5 billion duties on a range of European goods approved by the World Trade Organization for illegal EU subsidies to aviation giant Airbus.(AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

CAPE CANAVEREL, 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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