As part of a zero-gravity experiment, a U.S agricultural tech company is sending cannabis and coffee to the International Space Station. Via the next SpaceX resupply mission, which is scheduled for March next year, tissue cultures of java and hemp will be transported. (Hemp is a variety of cannabis that contains low levels of THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.)
Up to 480 plant cells will be housed for about 30 days in a special incubator, which regulates temperature and allows astronauts to examine how plant cells undergo genetic mutations while in space.
After a month away, the cells will return to Earth, where researchers at Front Range Biosciences can examine the plant samples to determine how microgravity and space radiation exposure altered their genes.
“This is one of the first times anyone is researching the effects of microgravity and spaceflight on hemp and coffee cell cultures,” Front Range Biosciences CEO Jonathan Vaught said in a statement.
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