Three Kennedy Space Center (KFT) fixed tubes (pictured) will contain Arabidopsis plants during the Unity 22 manned space flight. Virgin Galactic’s Sirisha Bandla will activate these tubes to release a preservative that will capture plant biochemistry at specific points in the microgravity transition process. Joint researchers from the University of Florida will perform treatments on the plants in the next few weeks. Gene expression analysis. After the flight. Image source: University of Florida.
On Sunday, July 11, Virgin Galactic will attempt its first fully manned space flight. The crew will receive technology supported by NASA. Virgin Galactic Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations
Sirisha Bandla will represent the joint investigators of the University of Florida at Gainesville, Dr. Robert Ferl and Dr. AnnaLisa Paul, to conduct experiments on the “Unity 22” flight. Bandla will activate three tubes full of plants to release preservatives during the key stages of data collection during the flight: 1 gram before the rocket boost, before entering microgravity, and after microgravity ends.
Although university researchers conducted similar suborbital flight experiments with the support of NASA’s Flight Opportunity Program, the data collected during Unity 22 flight will show the artificial payload on SpaceShipTwo for the first time.

By Peter

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