Japanese distillery sends whiskey to space to study zero-gravity effects on aging
The oldest distillery in Japan is sending whiskey into space to test the effects of zero-gravity on the aging process. The company, Suntory, will send six samples of whiskey to the International Space Station in August. The samples will be compared to a parallel set of samples in Japan.
Cinephiles will recognize the Suntory name from Bill Murray's turn in Lost in Translation:
"For relaxing times, make it Suntory Time."
Facts about: other weird things brought to space
Suntory isn't the first brewing company to send samples into space. Ninkasi Brewing Company sent their yeast to space to brew a craft beer called Ground Control Stout.
A prop lightsaber from Return of the Jedi went to space in 2007 in honor of the 30th anniversary of the 1977's Star Wars.
Towards the end of his walk on the moon, astronaut Alan Shepard of the Apollo 14 mission informed NASA's Mission Control that he "happened to have" a six-iron golf club and some golf balls. After whiffing a few times, he hit one of the balls "for miles and miles and miles." He donated the club to the US Golf Association upon landing back on Earth.
Toy Story's action figure Buzz Lightyear went into space in 2008 with Discovery mission STS-124. It lived at the International Space Station for over 450 days.
Cover image: Suntory via NY Daily News