A vial of malt whisky from Scotland’s Ardbeg Distillery was launched to the International Space Station in October 2011 along with some particles of charred oak. A team from US-based space research organisation NanoRacks said it was an experiment to see how the two interacted in almost zero gravity conditions.
The whisky has been orbiting the Earth’s atmosphere for 1,045 days so far, and is expected to land in Kazakhstan on 12 September. According to the BBC, it was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, and an identical bottle of whisky has been kept at the distillery as a control.
Once the space whisky returns, it will be compared with the Earth whisky to see what changes have occurred.
Ardbeg's director of distilling and whisky creation, Bill Lumsden, told the BBC:
"This is one small step for man but one giant leap for whisky. The team hopes to uncover how flavours develop in different gravitational conditions - findings which could revolutionise the whisky-making process. We hope to shine new light on the effect of gravity on the maturation process but who knows where it will lead us? It could be to infinity and beyond."