The Suntory Global Innovation Center will conduct research in the International Space Station’s Japanese Experiment Module, which is nicknamed Kibo, according to a press release. Researchers will examine the “development of mellowness in alcoholic beverage through the use of a microgravity environment.”
Studies by professors at Tohoku University, the University of Tokyo, the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute, and Suntory Foundation for Life Sciences suggest that the alcohol will become particularly “mellow” in the outer space conditions.
The researchers will look at five types of distilled spirits, each of which have different aging periods. They will measure how Suntory reacts to light waves and temperature changes, how the alcohol is structured using X-rays, and the organic compounds that make up the alcohol.
There will be two experiment groups — one lasting for about a year and another for two or more years — so it may be some time before we know how low-gravity conditions will affect our whisky. As Bill Murray said in Lost in Translation, “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.”