Bordeaux, June 16, 2022

Media Alert – for Immediate Release

Press kit available here

Télécharger le dossier de presse ici

Press contact:
Maryse Camelan,
[email protected]

 

 

ONE YEAR LATER, SPACE CARGO UNLIMITED UNCOVERS VINES WITH PROMISING CAPACITIES
CONFIRMING THE POTENTIAL OF
SPACE TO REINVENT THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE ON EARTH

Mission WISE, The first comprehensive privately-led applied research program leveraging microgravity, shows promising enhancements validating the effect of the absence of microgravity on wine and vine canes that will produce grapes in the fall of 2022. The space wine also confirms its remarkable quality.

 

KEY FACTS

●     On 01/14/2021, twelve bottles of Petrus Millesime 2000 and 320 vine shoots returned on Earth after 438 days and 19 hours on board the International Space Station, a journey of 300,000,000 km (the equivalent of about 300 trips between the Earth and the Moon) in zero gravity.

●    Both payloads sent on November 2019 for the wine and March 2020 for the vine shoots are part of Mission WISE, the first comprehensive privately led applied research program leveraging microgravity to reinvent the future of agriculture on Earth.

●     Space Cargo Unlimited’s focus on vine and wine as a proxy for agricultural evolution at large is motivated by the comprehensive knowledge developed around wine since ancestral times and the role it played in previous scientific breakthroughs, such as Louis Pasteur, who discovered the existence of bacteria.

●     During a press conference held in Bordeaux (France) on 03/ 24 2021, Nicolas Gaume and Emmanuel Etcheparre, co-founders of Space Cargo Unlimited indicated:

 

Mission WISE aims to advance research on viticulture as much as winemaking,” Say Nicolas Gaume and Emmanuel Etcheparre, cofounders of Space Cargo Unlimited.
“This process and the aging of wine remain largely a mystery. In studying them, the founding father of oenology, Louis Pasteur, made fundamental discoveries in life sciences.
Today, we believe that the unique characteristics of the space environment can help us continue this research work.

Nicolas Gaume
Co-Founder and CEO Space Cargo Unlimited

Emmanuel Etcheparre
Co-Founder , Space Cargo Unlimited

 

 

The first scientific analysis goes beyond SCU founders’ expectations, confirming a unique and innovative approach.

All replanted Space vine shoots are undergoing rigorous analysis. And as a first step, Space Cargo Unlimited conducted a 90-day preliminary survey to identify possible changes of interest.
The plant observations revealed:

KEY FIRST PLANT OBSERVATIONS

●     Increased resistance to downy mildew.

●     Increased resistance to phylloxera.

●     Changes in polyphenol content.

●     Decreased or increased growth rates.

●    Changes in the bacterial and fungi communities associated with the plants.

 

We are thrilled by the possibility space has provided us to develop new organic wine varieties that are more resistant to climate change.
More work is required still, but we are very excited by the perspectives, especially with our upcoming first harvest of Space grapes to produce wine.
The recent results clearly confirm the possibilities of our Self-Guided Evolution process, a very promising possibility of organic solutions for the future of agriculture on Earth.

Michael Lebert
Chief Scientific Officer, Space Cargo Unlimited
Department of Cell Biology,
FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg University (Germany)

 

Compared to ground control plants that remained on Earth, further genetic analysis performed by ISVV on space vine shoots show the expression of more than 90 genes related to basic metabolism and defense responses of space vine shoots in leaves of Merlot. Space Cargo Unlimited is now looking forward to confirming these discoveries in field tests later this year and check if these modulated genes could be correlated with a higher ability to withstand abiotic and biotic stress as observed in other species.

Space wine
The Space wine is currently going through further analysis by the ISVV teams. As of today, two organoleptic tastings have been organized to establish the fundamental ground of differentiation between terrestrial and space wine. These first two tastings confirmed an exceptional Space Wine. Various chemical analyzes are underway to assess the changes in the core components of wine and to scientifically state the real influence of spatial immersion on its components.

Space Cargo is thrilled to contribute to understanding the maturation of wine and support the groundbreaking work of our research teams at ISVV (Institut Francais de la Vigne et du Vin) in Bordeaux (FR) and at FAU Erlanger-Nuremberg University (DE) the for the future of vine and wine on Earth.
Space confirms all its potential as a new research dimension and opportunities for the future of agriculture on Earth.

Emmanuel Etcheparre
Co-Founder , Space Cargo Unlimited

 

NEAR FUTURE

●     Vine and wine research will continue throughout 2022.

●     The natural development of wine and vine from space will continue at hotplant houses located at INRAé (Gironde, France) and Groupe Mercier (Vendée, France). Four thousand of them are expected this year. following the “Self-guided Evolution” process.

●     The First “space grapes” are now visible on the canes just a few months after the replanting phase that occurred in February 2022.

●     The first space vine harvest is consequently expected in Fall 2023 for a first micro vinification.

●    Groupe Mercier, Space Cargo Unlimited’s commercial partner, will proceed with the first outdoor grafting process of the Cabernet Sauvignon, demonstrating the compatibility and viability of the vine shoots from space.

●    The scientific team plans to release several publications on wine and vine by the end of 2022 and early 2023.

●    Next experiments on the ISS will include other cane varieties and is expected to take place in 2024, depending on the results gathered in the meantime.

 

Space Cargo Unlimited is proving that, with the right creativity, it is possible to unfold compelling business models to seize the benefits of space for Earth. We have now successfully completed the first step of what is arguably the first actually commercially funded research mission on the ISS. The first indications of our work are extremely promising. We are excited of the opportunity space provided us to develop new vine plants, organic and more resistant to climate change-induced challenges.
More to come from Mission WISE and Space Cargo Unlimited!

Nicolas Gaume
Co-Founder and CEO Space Cargo Unlimited

 

 

About Space Cargo Unlimited
Founded in 2014, Space Cargo Unlimited is a European start-up founded by renowned private investors and entrepreneurs with a passion for space. Encouraged by emerging dynamics, technological advances, and the decreasing costs of access to low Earth orbit, Space Cargo Unlimited intends to exploit, by leveraging the high level of expertise in the European space industry, the potential of microgravity research for practical and commercial applications on Earth. The target areas are agriculture, health, and food. Space Cargo Unlimited works with teams and partners in Bordeaux and Toulouse (France), Erlangen (Germany), and Turin (Italy). Space Cargo Unlimited partners include ESA, CNES, Thales Alenia Space, Nanoracks, FAU (Erlangen Nuremberg), and ISVV (Bordeaux) universities.
For more information: www.mission-wise.com
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