—> 2014 —> Islay man to take Laphroaig on mission to Mars

Dimàirt, 01/Apr/2014

Islay man to take Laphroaig on mission to Mars

Islay News in stencil

Some fascinating news reached my inbox this morning: Remember the Ardbeg in Space experiment a few years ago? Well, that feat will be trounced by a bottle of Laphroaig in a few years time if all goes to plan. How that?

After graduating from Islay High School a young man from Port Ellen, Bill Campbell, went out into the world. With a degree in engineering and chemistry from the University of Glasgow Bill moved to the US to further his studies towards a Ph.D. Closing in on his Ph.D. at Caltech (some of you might have heard of it from Sheldon and his friends in The Big Bang Theory) he joined the NASA space program.

Lo and behold Bill has now been selected to be an astronaut in the first manned flight to Mars in 2024. In exactly 10 years from now, on the 1st of April 2024, a spaceship is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral for the long journey to Mars, where it is expected to arrive almost two month later at the end of May. Yes, quite possibly during the Islay Festival 2024 an Islay man will be on Mars. But there's more, as Bill writes:

Of course I'm incredibly excited having been selected for this amazing opportunity. To my surprise we were also told to think about a small souvenir from earth we should pick to take to Mars. Obviously it can't weigh a lot, so I selected a miniature bottle of my favourite whisky from home on Islay, a Laphroaig Cask Strength. I'll also take one of the miniature Scotland flags from the FoL programme to claim my square foot of Mars.

It will probably almost get lost in the vast red desert of the Mars surface, but here is how it might look:

Picture of the Mars surface with a miniature bottle of Laphroaig

Isn't that amazing? An Ileach selected to be on the first flight to Mars! And he picks a local whisky to take with him, even though I doubt he will be allowed to actually drink it during the mission. Alcohol and space travel probably don't go well together.

Congratulations to Bill! If this blog is still going in 10 years I will certainly report from the launch!

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