SpaceX's Next Space Station Delivery Includes a Stash of Cannabis

Ruben Fields
December 15, 2019

Of course, the reason for this isn't to make the astronauts in SpaceX CRS-20 mission high, it actually has a different objective.

The mission was contracted by Front Range Biosciences, an agri-tech company, in partnership with SpaceCells USA and BioServe Space Technologies.

Elon Musk's SpaceX has teamed up with a research lab in Colorado to send marijuana and coffee plants up to the ISS (International Space Station) in March 2020.

Last Sunday, SpaceX's Dragon capsule delivery an early holiday package to the ISS, including a bunch of supplies and experiments.

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Here, Front Range will provide the plant cultures of hemp (strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species, with very low levels of the psychoactive compound THC) and coffee.

"We've been fortunate to be a leader in the new space industry and we're excited to explore these fantastic opportunities with the team at Front Range Biosciences and BioServe", said Peter McCullagh, CEO of SpaceCells. It's to study the effect of microgravity and spaceflight (radiation) on the coffee and hemp cultures. The brief test also referred to as a static test is a primary part of preflight procedures and one of the last long milestones before the launch. The company will be sending over 480 plant cell cultures up to the space station via SpaceX's next cargo mission in March 2020.

Almost 4,800 pounds of science experiments and crew supplies will be delivered to help astronauts living at the orbiting space station.

BioServe will monitor the coffee and hemp plants remotely from Earth to see whether they'll mutate in any way aboard the space station. They will be aboard an incubator designed for space. "We envision this to be the first of many experiments together", said Louis Stodieck, Chief Scientist of BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. So now the researchers want to check if these mutations remain after it returns to earth and if there are any commercial applications. The main goal of the SpaceX that was founded by Elon Musk in the year 2002 is enabling people to live on other planets.

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