Space-based businesses don't all have to be about communications or Earth observation - European startup Space Cargo Unlimited, for instance, is focused on what operating in a microgravity environment can unlock for research and manufacturing.
"CommuBios will analyze the impact of radiation and microgravity on wine components, such as polyphenols, crystals and colloids during the aging process, in order to develop new flavors, nutritional and digestive properties for the food industry", Space Cargo Unlimited said in a statement. Researchers will examine how weightlessness and area radiation affect the getting older course of. Similarly, a dozen bottles of red wine will also be aged on Earth.
This is the first of six space missions planned by the company over the next three years touching on the future of agriculture given our changing world.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure", said Nicolas Gaume, chief executive and co-founder of Space Cargo Unlimited.
NASA is opening the space station to more business opportunities like this and, eventually, even private astronaut missions.
The Cygnus capsule that pulled up to the space station on Monday contained multiple commercial ventures.
Also on board were an oven for baking chocolate chip cookies and samples of carbon fibre used by Lamborghini in its sports cars. Budweiser has already despatched barley seeds to the station, with an eye fixed to turning into the beverage of alternative on Mars. For the experiment, 12 bottles of red wine are now being stored aboard the ISS and will remain in space for about a year.
As for prime-flying wine cellars, this is not the primary. A French astronaut took a bottle of wine aboard the Discovery shuttle in 1985. The space station's current crew includes three Americans, two Russians and an Italian, who may need preferred a good Chianti on board.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education.