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Asia Minute: Booze Perusal on the International Space Station

Mike McCune / Flickr
Mike McCune / Flickr

It’s been a busy week aboard the International Space Station.  On Tuesday, crew members began unloading gear from a re-supply mission sent by Japan.  And while the shipment includes everything from food to emergency equipment, one part of the cargo is getting special attention.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The latest shipment to the International Space Station is made up of roughly five tons of stuff—not exactly the term NASA would use, but there is variety in the cargo.  There are parts for a water recycling system to be used on board and more than a dozen small satellites to be used for observation and testing communications systems.

The Japanese also sent up a new electron telescope.  That will be used to look for dark matter and to analyze cosmic rays from the vantage point of the space station—a different perspective than the earth’s atmosphere.

Hundreds of pounds of food and water were also shipped on the re-supply mission…along with material for a series of experiments…including one that’s getting global attention.  It involves whiskey, some tequila, and some melon-flavored Midori liqueur.

None of this is designed for immediate consumption by the astronauts.

The experiment is to see how liquor ages in microgravity…compared to a test group of samples that will be aged back on planet earth.  The theory is there may be a difference in mellowness…whose measurement might not entirely be based on science alone.  The trial was put together by the Global Innovation Center in Tokyo, that’s part of the Japanese Suntory beverage conglomerate.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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