Suntory, a Japanese whiskey distillery, just announced its plans to send samples from their plants to the International Space Station (ISS). This will be brought by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, in “Kounotori5” or HTV5 (one of their vehicles) on August 16th. The purpose of this mission is to find out how gravity affects the “mellowing” process, or the process by which whiskey receives its smooth flavor by aging. Suntory plans to send two groups; the first group will be up in space for a little over a year while the second group will be up in space for two years before returning back to Earth for testing. So no, the crew isn’t getting free booze to drink, but it is all for the good of science! Some of the tests these well traveled whiskies will take include small angle X-ray scattering, phase shifting interferometer, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Let’s all raise a glass to the space aged future of whiskey.