ICBR director continues space biology research
University of Florida scientists, including ICBR’s director, will send a sixth experiment to space to better understand biological functions with the SpaceX-3 Dragon capsule launch to the International Space Station.
Robert Ferl, director of UF’s Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, and Anna-Lisa Paul, a research associate professor in plant molecular genetics, will turn over their plant samples to the SpaceX-3 for its launch at the Kennedy Space Center. After several postponed launch dates, the SpaceX-3 was successfully launched April 18.
The researchers will then travel to Cleveland’s Glenn Research Center to remotely operate the Light Microscopy Module – an ISS research facility that allows scientists to conduct their experiments telemetrically from the ground.
Through use of the Light Microscopy Module on the ISS and analyses of the plant samples at ICBR after they are harvested and returned in mid-April, the SpaceX-3 experiment will explore how spaceflight affects cells by examining plant growth without gravity.
Ferl and Paul are planning to send an additional experiment on another SpaceX flight in the near future.