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Scottish space whisky set to land on earth

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By Laurence Gibbons+

Last updated on 01-Sep-2014 at 11:47 GMT

Scottish whisky is set to return to earth after orbiting the planet in space for the past three years
Scottish whisky is set to return to earth after orbiting the planet in space for the past three years

Scottish whisky sent into space three years ago to discover how gravity affects the maturing process will return to earth in 11 days, on September 12, according to its distiller.

The Ardbeg distillery – based on the small Scottish isle of Islay – sent vials of Ardbeg-crafted molecules into space on the International Space Station in 2011.

The whisky has since been orbiting the planet at 17,227 miles per hour, 15 times a day.

Ardbeg was invited by US-based space research company NanoRacks LLC to take part in testing the interaction of these compounds with charred oak, between normal gravity on earth and in space.

The whisky is expected to land in Kazakhstan, Central Asia.

‘Mysteries of maturation’

“Waiting on the ground will be assorted boffins ready to rush the experiment to a scientific laboratory in Houston,” Ardbeg said. “Among their number will be our very own whisky creator, the eminent Dr Bill Lumsden. It will be the team’s task to proceed to unlock the mysteries of maturation.”

Dr Lumsden will reveal his findings in a white paper to be unveiled at a later date after the exhaustive studies, the firm added.

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