The concept behind the idea is to test if plants can mutate in zero gravity or if they will be genetically modified.
A biotech company in the US has planned to send coffee and marijuana cultures to the International Space Station (ISS). The cultures are expected to be shipped into space in the anticipated SpaceX CRS-20 cargo flight set to launch in March 2020. The concept behind the idea is to test if plants can mutate in zero gravity or if they will be genetically modified.
Front Range Biosciences, an agricultural biotech company has collaborated with a company called Space Cells and the University of Colorado in order to launch marijuana and coffee cultures in a space bound incubator. Front Range Biosciences is a company well known for its coffee and hemp and it wants to send 480 plant cells into space. The cultures will stay in space for a month before being bought back to be studied. Front Range will study them to see if any changes have occurred due to microgravity and space radiation.
“This is one of the first times anyone is researching the effects of microgravity and spaceflight on hemp and coffee cell cultures,” Front Range CEO Dr Jonathan Vaught commented.
“There is science to support the theory that plants in space experience mutations. This is an opportunity to see whether those mutations hold up once brought back to earth,” he further added. The CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk recently came under public scrutiny for firing up a joint during a live taping of a podcast with Joe Rogan in September. The act earned him a rap from NASA and has since gone viral.