But Tim Peake isn’t the only one who owes some of his groggiest mornings to space, the rest of us may have also fallen victim to astronomic hangovers.

Space technology has a complex and incredibly-long-distance relationship with the alcohol industry. After flirting briefly with the idea of sending a space mission into the atmosphere with a small supply of sherry in the 70s, NASA decided to keep the outer cosmos an alcohol free zone.

But, with no one there to check their bags on the way in, alcohol has, on a number of occasions, made it into outer space. Meanwhile, back on Earth, space technology has adopted a crucial role in various alcohol production processes. 

One small sip for man, one giant gulp for mankind

No sooner had humankind touched down on the moon, than the wine had begun to flow. Though it wasn’t the ultimate cheese and wine night you might have hoped for, the first alcoholic drink in space, though modest, was a controversial move. During the Apollo 11 space mission, Buzz Aldrin conducted the first communion service the moon had ever hosted. It took place inside the lunar module, using a small plastic container of wine and some bread.

If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard about the event, it’s likely because of NASA’s efforts to keep it quiet. Following the Genesis reading on the Apollo 8 mission the previous year, the US government narrowly avoided being sued by the ‘American Atheists’ group. Thus, Aldrin’s pious swig was kept off-air.

Having served astronauts in the past, NASA found that astronauts are pretty apathetic about the alcohol limitations on board rockets and satellites. The alcohol industry, taking up that familiar post as the devil on the shoulder of man, has been the most keen to launch their products through the atmosphere.

Two years ago, the first whiskey experiment to take to the skies – and beyond – arrived safely back on Earth. In 2011, Ardbeg Distillery sent vials of whiskey molecules to join the International Space Station on its 17,227 mph journey round the planet. Their aim was to test the effects of microgravity on whiskey’s maturation process. According to the experiment paper, the whisky had developed “a dramatically different flavour profile” in orbit, with flavours taste experts had not encountered before.

The chances of this rather extravagant method of distilling spirits becoming commonplace are, in all likelihood, pretty slim. But the idea has taken flight with some whiskey manufacturers. Ballentine’s even went as far as launching a whiskey glass which was engineered especially to enable astronauts to enjoy this tipple in style zero gravity. Unfortunately, or not as the case may be, for the time being we’ll simply have enjoy our whiskey with our feet on the ground.

Satellites are producing heavenly bodied wine

Whatever meager quantity of booze we send up to the heavens, us Earth-dwellers are getting an awful lot more back. We have our own impressive array of technology far overhead which helps manage our crops, hops and vineyards so we have bigger and better supplies of drink.

Commercial satellite companies have been able to lend their eyes to agricultural organisations for over a decade. From the skies, satellites can tell winemakers everything they want to know about their acres of land, from the colour and weight of a grape to the mineral density of the soil.

For the average wine drinker, this information may be going straight over our heads, but for major vineyards satellites insights are absolutely invaluable. High resolution colour photographs, infrared and satellite mapping can provide close to real time data on the vineyard microclimate.

Most of us rely on the ABC rule (anything but chardonnay), or the label of wine bottle to tell us whether or not we’ve picked up a good vintage. But satellites tell the farmers whether or not they’re looking a good harvest from the moment the grapes first start to appear.

A high quality red wine, for instance, needs to be made from grapes that have been grown in a state of slight dehydration, known as ‘water stress’. Using satellite imagery, winegrowers examine visual clues, such as the colour of soil and foliage, to tell how much water their grapes are holding. Dark, purple foliage and light, dry soil are the telling marks of a good vintage – for those of you that really do want to sound like an expert.