Saturday, February 8, 2014

NASA, Space, and Wine

As you may have noticed on my profile, I work full time as a contractor at NASA's Johnson Space Center.  I write and edit reports that support human spaceflight safety.  So of course, I'm always interested in intersections between wine and space.  Recently I've come across a few articles with a NASA-wine connection, and though some of them are pretty old, they still have interesting information to share.

Sucking Sherry From a Bag in Space - February 2, 2014
In the 1960s and 70s, NASA scientists tried to make the prospect of long-duration space flights more comfortable by packing wine for the trip.  (I should add that today alcohol is officially not allowed on the International Space Station...though sometimes there are rumors.)

Monitoring Vodka Production from Space - June 14, 2012
Russian authorities use satellite images to catch producers of illegal vodka.

Space Wine: The Next Frontier - November 20, 2012
Ardbeg has claimed a spot for some of its scotch on the International Space Station, to find out how the aging process differs in a micro-gravity environment.  They're calling it Galileo.  Wine may be next.

Flying High for Fine Wine:  NASA and Robert Mondavi Use Airborne Cameras to Improve California Vineyards - June 26, 2000
This one is VERY old, but it shares some fascinating information about how aerial photos and sensors can be used to assess the health of the vines in different areas of a vineyard.

One more fun NASA-and-wine fact:  The North American Sommelier Association also uses the acronym NASA.  I find that a strange and confusing choice, but hey, they didn't ask me.

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