Launch of SpaceX rocket taking CU-built research projects to International Space Station rescheduled

BOULDER, Colo. — Biomedical research projects built by researchers at the University of Colorado scrapped their trip to the International Space Station on Thursday afternoon, officials announced.

The experiments were scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at about 3:55 p.m. MDT and carry to the ISS on the company’s Dragon spacecraft.

According to officials, weather forced the launch to reschedule to Saturday.

One project will study how stem cells react to microgravity — something that could help researcher fight heart disease on Earth.

The second project will study the loss of bone density in space using rodents. The experiment will test a new drug designed to not only block loss of bone but also to rebuild it, officials stated.

The two payloads were developed by BioServe Space Technologies, a research center within the Ann and H.J Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering, according to CU.

“We have a solid relationship with SpaceX and NASA that allows us to regularly fly our flight hardware to the International Space Station,” BioServe Director Louis Stodieck said.

“The low gravity of space provides a unique environment for biomedical experiments that cannot be reproduced on Earth, and our faculty, staff and students are very experienced in designing and building custom payloads for our academic, commercial and government partners.”

Undergraduate and graduate CU students are involved in all aspects of BioServe research efforts, Stodieck said.