MERRITT ISLAND, Florida — A Lafayette agriculture biotech company is launching hemp and coffee cultures into space tonight.
Front Range Biosciences, which researches and develops hemp and coffee varieties, is partnering with SpaceCells USA Inc. and BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado Boulder for this study. It boards the SpaceX CRS-20, a commercial resupply service mission to the International Space Station this evening.
The project will study the effects of microgravity for 31 days on 480 plant cell samples. Take-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. MST at the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
“This space study is a pivotal mission not only for Front Range Biosciences, but also for the hemp and agricultural industries at large,” Jonathan Vaught, FRB’s co-founder and CEO, said in an email to BizWest. “Studying the potential biological effects of zero gravity in hemp and coffee will push the needle forward for the hemp industry by unearthing commercially valuable traits that will benefit the modern farmer.”
The hemp and coffee cultures will reside in four space-made Plate Habitats with temperature regulation. U.S. ISS astronauts and the BioServe payload operations center will monitor any gene expression changes.
© 2020 BizWest Media LLC