Thursday, January 14th 2021, 9:08 am - The wine may help scientists better understand how to feed more people on Earth.
A SpaceX Dragon capsule has been sent back to Earth loaded with special cargo: twelve bottles of wine and 320 grapevines.
They were transported to space in November 2019 and March 2020 as part of an experiment by Space Cargo Unlimited Researchers (SCU). It's an agricultural project looking at ways to grow plants in harsh environments and feed more people.
"An orbiting lab such as the International Space Station provides an Earth-like environment, with the key exception of near-zero gravity and exposure to space radiation," SCU says in a November press release.
The @SpaceX #CargoDragon completed its 36-day stay at the station today after undocking at 9:05am ET. It will splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico late Wednesday. More... https://t.co/I2Ml2IPSuM pic.twitter.com/LvvcLTIMrp— International Space Station (@Space_Station) January 12, 2021
"...One result could be that these organisms have more effective defenses back on Earth, particularly in the context of climate change. It is Space Cargo Unlimited’s ambition to make use of the unique environment of space to benefit of life on Earth."
Once back in an Earth-bound lab, scientists will compare the vines to ones that were grown on Earth and note any changes. Experts will taste the wine to see if space changed its composition.