The University of Guelph is looking to help make a whisky that is out of this world (while also doing important scientific research).
According to a post on the school’s website, researchers at the school are looking to see what kind of conditions grain seeds can withstand in space. To do that, a container holding a few hundred barley seeds is now sitting on a platform outside of the International Space Station.
There, the university says, the seeds “are being exposed to zero gravity, cosmic radiation and wild 200-degree temperature swings as the (International Space Station) orbits behind Earth’s shadow and back again into the intense heat of the sun.”
“This experiment represents the extreme conditions that plant-based biologicals such as seeds would be subjected to if we create self-sustaining life support systems in space,” Dr. Mike Dixon, a professor in the university’s School of Environmental Sciences, states in the post.
“Knowing how food sources will fare in such harsh environments is a small but significant incremental step in the long, scientific investigation to supporting human life in space.”
Dixon is working on this project with Chivas Brothers, a Scotch whisky business which donated proprietary barley seed for the experiment. Those seeds will be returned to Earth, where they will be germinated at the university’s Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility and closely monitored as they are grown into a crop.
Seeds from that crop will then be sent back to Scotland, where they will be malted and distilled.
“The longtime Scotch lover in me is looking forward to helping create this unique product,” Dixon adds in the post.
“But the scientist in me is even more excited about the important data that will come from this project.”
This Article firstly Publish on www.thestar.com