UF project, funded by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, was the only science experiment on the Virgin Galactic mission, meant to study the impact the transition to and from zero gravity has on gene expression in cells, and, more broadly, to develop protocols for “human-tended” suborbital flights.
UF researchers are playing a part in the future of space agriculture. One of the co-directors of the UF Space Plants Lab said all the research they do has one main goal, to one day grow plants on Mars.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine announced that Dr. Robert J. Ferl, a distinguished professor and plant molecular biologist at the University of Florida, will co-chair the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences Research in Space 2023–2032 along with Dr. Krystyn J. Van Vliet from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.