A mellow test
Whiskey arrives at space station — for science
Spirits arrived at the International Space Station on Monday. Not the ghostly ones, but the kind you drink — distilled spirits.
The six astronauts won't be sneaking a sip. It's all for science.
A Japanese company known for its whiskey and other alcoholic beverages included five types of distilled spirits in a space station cargo ship. The station's big robotic arm — operated by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui — grabbed onto the supply craft launched Wednesday by his homeland. Flight controllers helped anchor it down.
The supply ship contains about 10,000 pounds of cargo, including the liquor samples. Suntory Global Innovation Center in Tokyo wants to see if alcoholic beverages mellow the same in space as they do on Earth.
The samples will be used for experiments and will spend at least a year in orbit before being returned to Earth. An identical set of samples will be stored in Japan.
The experiment has NASA's blessing. Spokesman Dan Huot said all research flown to the space station is agreed upon by everyone involved. It's not the first liquor-related space study.