It has been the third launch of this rocket, which has again successfully landed to its reuse, although in the process one of the two halves of its fairing has been lost.
Those responsible for the project have announced that they will try to recover it from the water in order to continue using it.
However, even if they failed, SpaceX will continue to give much to talk about in 2020, as it already has a large number of releases planned, some of the most curious.
This is the case that is scheduled for next March, when the company plans to take 480 hemp and coffee plant cell cultures to the International Space Station, in order to check what effects its growth in microgravity has and if its properties are modified, for later use, both in space and back on Earth.
It will be in charge of doing the CRS-20 cargo flight, backed by SpaceCells USA. Inc, Front Range Biosciences and the University of Colorado, as recently explained in a press release.
Experiments with sight in the future
The scientific evidence available so far suggests that plants in space can undergo numerous mutations.
This has led the researchers of the participating institutions to launch this project, whose objective is to verify to what extent they occur, how they affect them and if they remain once back on Earth.
The objective of this test is to check if the gene expression they had before undergoing these extreme conditions has changed. But what does this mean exactly?
Remember that DNA is like the instruction book of an organism. All cells have the same code, but this is not read in all the same way.
Depending on the function of each one, some instructions or others will be followed or, put in a more technical way, some genes or others will be expressed.
In short, what these experts are looking for is to check if space changes the way in which plant cells read the instructions of the plant.
These experiments have the objective of verifying how plants would behave in space, facing future colonization, both for scientific purposes and, why not, also for tourism. They would be necessary as ornamentation, but especially to help space travelers stay healthy during their stay.
But that’s not all, because it is also intended to check if the stress of this new environment can help plants synthesize chemical compounds that they would not normally produce.
No doubt a very interesting research field will be opened as a result of this trip. Paint well the science that is presented for this 2020.