Elon Musk testing if booze can be sent to Mars without going off

Elon Musk is testing if booze can be sent to Mars without going off as his space rival Jeff Bezos quits as Amazon CEO.

The SpaceX chief has brought bottles of wine that have spent more than a year in the International Space Station (ISS) back to Earth.

Dozens of vine shoots were also grown on the station as part of the experiment, the Telegraph reports.

It comes as the richest person in the world Bezos has reportedly quit as Amazon chief to focus more time on running his spaceflight business Blue Origin.

Meanwhile NASA's Perseverance rover is set to land on the Red Planet to start looking for signs of life on February 18.

Musk says he wants to send humans to Mars despite warning it could be a "suicide mission".

The 12 bottles of Bordeaux were brought back to Earth on the tech billionaire Musk's SpaceX Dragon capsule last month.

Connoisseurs are about to start tasting them and check the 320 vine canes at the Institute of Vine and Wine Science in Bordeaux, France.

The wine experiment is aimed at seeing how space radiation and microgravity affect wine during the ageing process.

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Scientists hope the data might help agricultural research, according to zero gravity project manager Space Cargo Unlimited.

Co-founder Nicolas Gaume said."The only thing that changes com pared with Earth is the near-total absence of gravity, which produces immense stress for life on the ISS.

"The things we learn about wine we also plan to develop for other agricultural uses.

"Being French, it's part of life to have some good food and good wine."

As for the vine canes, he said: "We'll do a whole genome sequencing of the plants, to provide a clear view of all the DNA changes that could have happened on the stay on the ISS."

The experiment was co-funded by the University of Erlangen in Germany and the French CNES space agency.

The wine has spent 438 days in space and is set to be tested by private experts this month with chemical tests to follow.

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