Japanese liquor arrives at International Space Station

Published August 26, 2015
Suntory sent the booze to space so it could test how time in a zero-gravity environment affects its flavour.—AP/File
Suntory sent the booze to space so it could test how time in a zero-gravity environment affects its flavour.—AP/File

TOKYO: An unmanned cargo ship loaded with emergency supplies — including Japanese whisky — successfully docked at the International Space Station early on Tuesday, officials said.

But thirsty astronauts will have to keep their hands off the golden tipple — it’s a science experiment.

Drinks giant Suntory sent the booze to space so it could test how time in a zero-gravity environment affects its flavour.

Researchers for the company have said that storing the beverage in an environment with only slight temperature changes and limited liquid movement could lead to a mellower flavour.

The unusual cargo was placed inside the 5.5-ton vessel “Kounotori” (stork in Japanese), which blasted off from southern Japan last Wednesday attached to an H-IIB rocket.

It was also loaded with food, water, clothing and tools necessary for experiments in space.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, 45, who is living at the ISS, used a robotic arm to grab the vessel before it was successfully berthed at the station.

The cargo ship will leave the ISS and re-enter the earth’s atmosphere in late September, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2015

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