A few years ago, a space research company in the US and Scottish company Ardbeg Distillery teamed up to initiate an experiment revolving around aging whiskey in space. It isn’t the only company with interest in that, however, and now a Japanese company has announced similar plans. This time around it is Japanese distillery Suntory with the space-aging ambitions — this week the company announced plans to ship its alcohol to the nation’s module of the International Space Station, Kibo.
The alcohol will be sent in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, which will be launching its H-II Transfer Vehicle No. 5 (HTV5) on August 16. The whiskey will be one of the items on the vehicle, and it will spend the next few years of its life aboard the ISS undergoing experimentation.
Suntory announced the plans on Thursday. The whiskey’s first year in space will be spent in “Group 1”, and for at least the next two years after that it will be in “Group 2”. The purpose, says the distillery, is to conduct experiments revolving around the “development of mellowness”, something that happens over a long period of time.
Though it is known that alcohol mellows out over time, the exact reason for why that happens isn’t known. These experiments, however, might lend some insight into what exactly happens and result in better whiskey in the future. Just don’t expect to get your hands on a bottle of space-aged booze any time soon.