JAXA Spacecraft Delivers Hard Liquor and a Dozen Mice to the ISS

Monday, 24 August 2015 - 2:03PM
NASA
Weird Science
Monday, 24 August 2015 - 2:03PM
JAXA Spacecraft Delivers Hard Liquor and a Dozen Mice to the ISS
JAXA's HTV spacecrafts are known as "Kounotori," or "White Storks," in Japan, but they're not exactly bringing babies. This morning, HTV-5 successfully latched onto the ISS, and it brought run-of-the-mill supplies such as food and water, as well as "experimental" liquor, a crew of mice, and a few other choice items.



JAXA launched HTV-5 on Wednesday, and it finally arrived at the ISS orbital lab at 6:55 am this morning. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, with assistance from NASA's Kjell Lindgren, successfully captured the craft using a robotic arm. 



The ship is carrying almost five tons of supplies and science gear, including materials for several idiosyncratic experiments. First, the cargo included a case of hard liquor, including whiskey, tequila, and Midori. While the astronauts could likely use a way to blow off some steam, it's actually for an experiment that will test the effects of spaceflight on the "mellowness" of the alcohol's taste. Why anyone thought this was important, we have no idea. 

The cargo also includes twelve mice, who will take part in a study of the physiological effects of long-term weightlessness. They will live in special compartments that can switch between ISS gravity and Earth gravity, with the aim of determining potential ill effects of spaceflight for human astronauts. 

And finally, HTV-5 delivered supplies for NASA's twin experiment involving astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, which will also examine the effects of prolonged spaceflight, and an electron microscope that will search for thus far elusive dark matter.

Via NBC News.
Science
Space
NASA
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