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Why this Japanese company wants to send whiskey to space

NASA space Non-Tropical Cyclone Over Canada (NASA, International Space Station, 06/27/12)NASA space Non-Tropical Cyclone Over Canada (NASA, International Space Station, 06/27/12)
Canada, as seen from the International Space Station, in 2012.Photograph by NASA/JSC

Japanese whiskey maker Suntory is sending samples to space in an experiment to see how the trip might affect the drink’s taste.

Suntory, one of Japan’s largest makers of alcoholic beverages, said Friday that the samples would be stored in a Japanese facility at the International Space Station, the AFP reports.

The company’s researchers believe that storing whiskey in zero-gravity for longer than a year could cause it to age differently than it would on Earth, perhaps leading to a mellower flavor.

The AFP reports that the space whiskey will not be made available for sale, but rather tested in a laboratory by researchers. “For the moment, we’re not thinking about applying the study results to commercial products,” a Suntory spokeswoman told the AFP.