From Reason'a Hit&Run blog:
Here at Reason, we have talked some smack about the experiments being conducted at the International Space Station and on the U.S. Shuttles. (See Robert Zubrin on the deaths in the Columbia, "a flight devoted to ant farms, recycled-urine-based finger paints, and other science fair experiments.") But here's a worthy mission, sent up on a Russian cargo rocket: a two-year long experiment devoted to the study of terpenes and other molecules in near-zero gravity. Terpenes, eh? Wonder what those do...
NanoRacks LLC, the US company behind the research, has said understanding the influence of gravity could help a number of industries, including the whisky industry, to develop new products in the future....Space-aged whiskey!
Compounds of unmatured malt were sent to the station in an unmanned cargo spacecraft in October last year, along with particles of charred oak.
The researchers are also measuring the molecules' interaction at normal gravity on Earth so they can compare the way the particles mature.Via Rand Simberg.