Two space experiments that won a ride to the international space station in a competition hosted by Florida’s aerospace economic development agency, Space Florida, are set to launch as part of Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s third paid cargo run to the outpost. The launch, which had been scheduled for March 16, has been postponed to March 30.
Space Florida said in a March 1 press release that the two projects heading to ISS are:
- The Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting Fly Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight, co-organized by the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Stanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando, Fla., and the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. The experiment will study the effects of spaceflight on the function, morphology and gene expression in fruit fly hearts, Space Florida said in its press release.
- Project MERCCURI (for Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on ISS), from the University of California, Davis; Scistarter.com; and ScienceCheerleader.com. The MERCCURI teams have been gathering microbial samples at a variety of public venues around the country including football and basketball games, as well as sites of historic interest. Microbes from those swab samples will be delivered to the ISS and the growth and behavior of these microbes will be compared with duplicate cultures in Earth-based labs, Space Florida wrote in the press release.