If the Institut Supérieur de la Science et du Vin requires a volunteer to taste the returned bottles I'm available at short notice and easily swayed by home delivery of plonk, cheese and charcuterie.
NASA and Boeing have announced that humanity's celestial outpost will soon install six new solar panels, each capable of producing 20kW. The panels use Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) tech tested at the ISS in 2017. ROSA panels "roll open in space like a tape measure", a technique that allows for more compact designs than is …
Hang on, don't get your hopes up. There's been bottles of the finest French vintages up in orbit, looked after by a bunch of astronauts who are a very long way away from the nearest pub / wine bar / etc? The chances of there being any actual wine left in those bottles is remote.
There might be something else in there, some other fluid surplus to requirements, bit of food colouring, etc. And they can get away with it. After all, if someone opens them up and takes a sniff and exclaims "Mon dieu, this vin completement stinks comme un pissoir!", they can simply say "Well that just shows that wine doesn't keep in space". And that's even true, in the same way that it's true that wine does last very long in my bottle rack.
Boffins on to a Good Thing?
There's some people whose job quite soon is going to tasting and drinking wine that's been into space and back, and they're getting paid to do it.
Where's it all gone wrong for me?
I know the engineers know their onions, so it's my ignorance that made me think that a dozen spacewalks seemed like a lot. Until I remembered a documentary about spacewalks and how the astronaut is describing every movement they make to mission control, and periodically checking their gloves for signs of wear - i.e, they likely can't do as much work per spacewalk as Hollywood has us think.
That said, I'd love to see solar panels and modules maneuver and assemble themselves... that would just appear to be a solvable engineering chalkange that would lessen the need for spacewalks.
That said, I'd love to see solar panels and modules manoeuvrer and assemble themselves
Adding motors, grippers, control circuits and batteries might just adversely affect the weight of the module.
Having said that, some form of crawler robot that can carry the parts and tools to the required spot for manual fixing by an astronaut might be worthwhile to reduce the number of spacewalks required.
Aquavit Linie - shipped across the equator (twice) as part of the ageing process. I was shown the bottle when I was introduced to it - the label had the ship's name and voyage dates printed on the back. Many Norwegian ships are (were) built with secure hold space for the lucrative cargo.
Shooting wine into space and back seems a bit nouveau chic, but there might be a business opportunity with zeroG spirit. Now if Mr Musk would like to tip me a few bottles for suggesting a use for spare space inside the Dragons...