Can Wine Be Made In Space?
I am not a person who does well in extreme temperatures. And over a recent scorcher of a weekend in late June, with the temperature reaching triple digits, I really struggled. It's not supposed to be this way, I thought as I stood in front of the open freezer.
While I tried to deal with the sense of impending doom that could only come from the catastrophic increase in atmospheric carbon, I took solace in two things: cold showers and chilled wine. Especially the wine.
God bless wine.
While we might be past the point of no return when it comes to climate change, the good folks at NASA have just announced that we'll still be able to enjoy a nice glass of rosé when we're all living in lunar colonies and privatized space pods.
So who cares if we screwed up the one planet we had? This will be us in mere decades:
Gizmodo interviewed principal investigator for NASA's Vegetable Production System Gioia Massa on the possibility of cultivating wine in space.
The results are bold, smooth, and electric, with just a hint of pucker:
Most plants for space are super compact, but if you had vines that you could coil or clip a larger plant might be an option. Getting light to a sprawling vine is definitely a challenge ... you would want very compact varieties.
China also sent cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir vines into space to see how they'd do in a microgravity climate, but we're still anxiously awaiting the results.
Okay, so technically we're not at space wine level yet. While NASA isn't exactly cultivating grape vines at the International Space Station, they are slated to experiment with tomato plant pollination next year. And if that's successful, the same process could be applied to grape vines.
So, as the bees die off, leaving us to try alternative pollination methods, seriously alter our diets, and eventually buy stock in NASAFoods, Inc., winos will be like:
The news has some people stoked for the future:
While thinking about floating around in zero-g, enjoying quivering globules of wine does make the possibility of a climate apocalypse a little more palatable, we could also, I dunno, try saving the planet?
Because if scheduling brunch with friends is a pain to manage now, I can't imagine what it'll be like if one of us is on Mars while the rest live on the Moon.