Elon Musk's SpaceX company will send a batch of cannabis seeds to the ISS in 2020. The plants will spend 30 days in space, after which they will be returned to Earth for research, Vice reports.
A shipment of cannabis ordered by the agro-technical company Front Range Biosciences will be delivered in March by a space "truck" SpaceX. Within a month, scientists will remotely monitor the growth and development of the culture, and after the return of the incubators, they will study the effect of microgravity on plants. In addition to cannabis seeds, several varieties of coffee will be sent to the ISS.
Front Range Biosciences said it was a batch of cannabis with a low level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has a psychoactive effect on humans. First of all, scientists are interested in whether certain changes will occur in plants at the genetic level. Based on the research, experts hope to discover new ways of commercializing the culture.
In the case of coffee, scientists are going to get crops that are resistant to negative influences. In particular, Front Range Biosciences hopes to develop a type of coffee that can grow in regions with unfavorable climates.
Vice edition notes that this is not the first time that cannabis has been shipped off the planet. For example, in June 2013, enthusiasts used a weather balloon to send marijuana plants to an altitude of about 30 kilometers. Whether the experiment had any scientific basis is not reported.