A bottle of Pétrus 2000 wine that spent 14 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is being sold through a private sale at Christie's auction house.
The bottle of wine is the first one to ever spend time in space, and to be brought back down to Earth. It's being sold along with another bottle of Pétrus wine that remained on Earth, a unique custom trunk, a decanter, glasses, and a corkscrew made from meteorite, all of which might come up to as much as $1 million, per Christie's.
That decent lump of money will go towards future space missions. So it's not only a one-of-a-kind bottle, it's also contributing to science.
Details of the wine's trip
The Pétrus 2000 bottle was sent up to space along with 11 other bottles in November 2019 as part of a controlled series of experiments being carried out by a startup called Space Cargo Unlimited. The bottles came back down to Earth along with other scientific research and cargo on SpaceX's Dragon capsule on January 14, 2021.
After they were safely back down on Earth, the bottles were analyzed in France when 12 professionals tasted the terrestrial version of the aged wine, as well as the space-aged one. Differences in color, aroma, and taste were noted.
The entire point of the wine bottle experiment was to gather information about how plants react to the stress of being in space to develop future innovative solutions for agriculture on Earth.
It's fascinating to think that someone will drink space-aged wine, and that it could even become something of a regular phenomenon in the future.
The Pétrus 2000 bottles weren't the only regular terrestrial items to be sent up to space either for experiments or for simple fun.
Other items sent up to Space over the years
From Baby Yoda to Buzz Lightyear, and a number of other toys, there's been a little bit of everything sent up to the ISS or to space.
In 2001, for instance, Pizza Hut delivered a pizza to the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachov at the ISS — the world's first food delivery to space, which was said to be worth $1 million at the time. A little change in the ingredients, like adding extra salt and spices, and swapping out pepperoni for salami, happened in order for the pizza's taste to withstand the changes in microgravity, explained Space.com.
As impressive as sending an edible pizza to space, in 2018, SpaceX flew a Tesla Roadster and Starman, a spacesuit-clad mannequin, in space to commemorate the company's Falcon Heavy rocket's first flight.
Let's not forget Luke Skywalker's lightsaber made an appearance in space in 2007, three Lego figurines in 2011, and so much more.