Growing* that is( in Space: Microgravity’s Effect on Plants

Cannabis has been used for ritual, medicine, enjoyment, and industrial applications like paper, textiles, and ropes for literal millennia, and as more states allow for legal medicinal and adult-use markets, industry players have created ever more innovative technologies and products that propel a booming cannabis marketplace.

One company experimenting in cannabis growth technologies is Space that is kentucky-based Tango a “leader within the commercialization of room through R&D, bioengineering, and manufacturing in microgravity.” The business, together with Atalo Holdings and Anavil marketplace, is performing experiments in the Global area Station (ISS) to learn how* that is( grows in space.

So far, the company has conducted eight missions and 88 experiments on hempcannabis’ non-intoxicating and cousin that is legal aboard the ISS. The challenge that is primary of any plant is space is microgravity, which NASA describes as the “condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless.” Simple enough, but what exactly does that mean for growing* that is( in room, and exactly how do those findings make their in the past to world?

Is it easy for Marijuana to cultivate in area and Microgravity?

Cannabis is a plant that will require certain stresses – both negative and positive – to cultivate into robust and effective flowers. Some stressors which can be essential to growth that is healthy air circulation, plant training, and the appropriate humidity and temperature.


Researchers are currently studying the effects of microgravity on hemp and cannabis. photo credit

But negative stressors play a role, too; if there are interruptions in the cycle that is light or moisture and heat are excessive or low, cannabis plants could possibly be ruined. But choosing the balance that is necessary the positive and negative is a delicate process.

Current Research into Growing Weed in Space

Space Tango founder Kris Kimel is a former NASA engineer, whose theory begins with the idea that growing* that is( in microgravity could be less stressful for the plant. So far, the startup has arranged two laboratories that are micro microwave-sized clean labs to conduct experiments on the ISS, using microwave-sized clean labs to conduct experiments.

Kimel hopes that by eliminating stress from the* that is( growing procedure in a microgravity environment that they’ll discover ways to bring those classes quite literally back into world. This can possibly offer a much better, more predictable, and method that is efficient growing cannabis.

Dr. Joe Chappell, who serves on the Space Tango Science Advisory team speaks from experience, having actually conducted microgravity research on plants aboard the ISS. “When plants are stressed, they pull from a reservoir that is genetic create substances that enable them to adjust and survive,” he said in a press launch. “Understanding exactly how flowers respond in a breeding ground where in fact the stress that is traditional of is removed can provide new insights into how adaptations come about and how researchers might take advantage of such changes for the discovery of new characteristics, traits, biomedical applications, and efficacy.”

Space and Plants

As research advances, we are closer every to the possibility of marijuana grown in space day. Photo credithempKimel said that the ongoing company is focused in particular on how microgravity may affect the growth of CBD-derived hemp, a market expected to be worth $1.8 billion by 2022. For the time being, the experiments are being conducted on

(made legal in the U.S. by the 2018 Farm Bill), but as more legal markets open up via legislation or voter initiatives, applying the lessons learned from growing in microgravity could be applied to expanding marijuana that is legal aswell.

What’s Then for Space Hemp and Growing Weed in Low Gravity?hempThough Space Tango may be the very first to cultivate cannabis in space, they’re not the first ever to send cannabis beyond Earth’s environment. A 2017 promotion stunt from near room research business Sent towards area established the slim Mint GSC stress as much as 118,000 foot. The weed was sold to a dispensary in Arizona upon its fall back to Earth. Luckily, the lessons learned from the Space Tango experiments could benefit(* eventually) customers around the world and sometimes even the entire world, and not one dispensary.

What do you consider about growing* that is( in room? Share your thinking within the opinions below.

Photo Credit: NASA (permit)

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