Single malt to fall to Earth again

2014-08-29 00:00

A VIAL with whisky will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere in September after nearly three years orbiting the globe aboard the International Space Station.

For the first time, the expedition will allow scientists to decipher the impact gravity has on the whisky maturation process. Having blasted off from Earth in 2011, the spirit, from the island of Islay in Scotland, has been on a galactic journey as part of a research experiment.

Specially designed for the mission, the vial of Ardbeg has been orbiting the Earth’s atmosphere at 15 times a day for 1 045 days. At the same time an identical vial had a slightly easier journey, having been housed at Warehouse 3 at the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay to act as a control sample.

Now the two samples will be reunited in a laboratory in Houston, Texas for an experiment researchers believe could change the future of whisky production. Scientists will compare the two samples, examining the interaction of the Ardbeg-crafted molecules with charred oak to document what differences occur between earth whisky and space whisky.

The final white paper with the full research findings will be published ­

in 2015.

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