A microwave-sized box made by a company called Space Tango will soon be launched out of the atmosphere to become ground zero for cannabis experiments in space. The relatively small size is ideal, as there isn’t a lot of room to spare on the International Space Station, where the experiments will be conducted.
Space Tango’s CubeLab modules have already tested growing barley in zero gravity for Anheuser-Busch. The space barley results are still pending, but according to NASA the barley is being “evaluated for genetic alterations and morphological abnormalities.” Unlike the stress tests the barley seems to be going through, the science with the cannabis experiments is to see if growers can achieve greater control over cultivars if grown without the stress of gravity pulling down.
Kris Kimel of Space Tango said in an interview, “We’re trying to figure out here what’s the business now… For us, the model is looking at low earth orbit to actually develop and design applications for life on earth.” Could zero-gravity chambers here on Earth be the next wave of cannabis cultivation innovation? These space tests could lead almost anywhere.
There are two companies based out of Kentucky that focus on cannabis and hemp respectively that are conducting the experiments with Space Tango. Scientists on the ISS will grow and monitor the plants’ progress onboard. Who knows, perhaps growing in space is the ticket to our unlocking even more potential from the already miraculous plants.
In a statement, Kimel extrapolated, “Each time a new type of physics platform has been successfully harnessed such as electromagnetism, it has led to the exponential growth of new knowledge, benefits to humankind and capital formation. Using microgravity, we envision a future where many of the next breakthroughs in healthcare, plant biology and technology may well occur off the planet Earth.”
We knew we needed more cannabis research, but this is literally reaching for the stars. It will be interesting to see how hemp colas do without their branches being weighed down and with no tension against the flowers whatsoever. Perhaps granules of kief will encircle the plants, perhaps potency or fiber strength will occur, whatever the results, high minded individuals will be awaiting what happens with bated breath.