- NASA’s international Space Station received a delivery of three tons of cargo this week with the docking of the SpaceX Dragon Capsule.
This delivery is not the only one that the International Space Station will receive. Another mission will commence in March 2020, and this time, the station will receive a supply of cannabis, reports Futurism.
Front Range Biosciences announced in a press release their plan to deliver cannabis to the International Space Station. The agricultural technology biosciences company focuses on breeding and nursery production of new plant varieties and seeds for the coffee and hemp industries. The company will be delivering the hemp, a legal cannabis strain with low levels of THC and in partnership with SpaceCells USA Inc. and BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado. In addition to delivering hemp, the shipment will also include coffee tissue cultures.
The purpose of sending hemp and coffee to the International Space Station is to examine the effects of zero gravity on the plant’s metabolic pathways. Dr. Johnathan Vaught, the Co-founder and COE of Front Range Biosciences shared in the press release that it is one of the first times that anyone has researched the impact of microgravity and spaceflight on hemp and coffee cell cultures. He also added,
“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 and if there are new commercial applications.”
The press release also indicates that the mission could pose as an opportunity to determine how plants respond to new environments – such as in space, and it can also help companies such as Front Range Biosciences to breed crops to thrive in new locations. Further, the crews for Front Range Biosciences, SpaceCells USA Inc., and BioServe believe that this may not be the sole mission. Rather, they intend to conduct investigations that can enhance the productivity and viability of terrestrial crops and plants.
Looks like cannabis is entering a new frontier.