In an idea that reeks of Elon Musk's infamous podcast taping in which he lit up a marijuana doobie, a biotech company in the US is planning to send coffee and marijuana to the International Space Station (ISS). The plant cultures will be shipped off to space in the highly anticipated SpaceX CRS-20 cargo flight set for launch in March 2020.
The idea behind the move is to test whether plants could mutate in zero gravity or if they can be genetically modified.
As per a report in Mashable, agricultural biotech company Front Range Biosciences has collaborated with a tech company called Space Cells and the University of Colorado to launch marijuana and coffee in a space-bound incubator.
Front Range is known for its coffee and hemp, and the company wants to send over 480 plant cell cultures into space.
After a month in space, the coffee and marijuana will be brought back to earth. Front Range will then study them to understand any change, which might have occurred due to microgravity and radiation in space.
“This is one of the first times anyone is researching the effects of microgravity and spaceflight on hemp and coffee cell cultures,” Front Range CEO Dr Jonathan Vaught told Westword.
“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,” he added.
CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk previously came under fire for smoking pot during the live taping of a podcast with Joe Rogan in September 2018, an act that went viral and earned him a rap from NASA.