Space Tango has announced the creation of a new subsidiary enterprise focused on research and development surrounding the plant biology and properties of hemp. The primary objective of the separate enterprise is the potential enhancement and bioengineering of this novel and versatile plant for Earth-based biomedical applications. Inaugural companies joining Space Tango as partners include Atalo Holdings, providing certified hemp genetics, and Anavii Market, an online retailer of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) therapeutics.
Hemp has a long and storied history as the non-psychoactive variety of Cannabis sativa L. Its cultivation extends back thousands of years for a variety of purposes ranging from textiles and industrial fiber to food and medicines. This new enterprise will explore the various aspects of hemp, but particularly those associated with biomedical and health uses with a focus on enhancing its applications, efficacy and value.
“Each time a new type of physics platform has been successfully harnessed such as electromagnetism, it has led to the exponential growth of new knowledge, benefits to humankind and capital formation,” said co-founder and chairman Kris Kimel of Space Tango. “Using microgravity, we envision a future where many of the next breakthroughs in healthcare, plant biology and technology may well occur off the planet Earth.”
The 2014 U.S. Farm Bill enabled expanded research and development and planting of industrial hemp for the first time in 70 years. Since the passage of this Farm Bill, research has rapidly accelerated into all areas of fiber, food and medicine.
“When we send plants to the International Space Station, we eliminate one core, constant force, to which plants are well-adapted – gravity,” explained Dr. Joe Chappell, a member of the Space Tango Science Advisory Team who specializes in drug development and design and has personally conducted microgravity research on the ISS. “When plants are ‘stressed,’ they pull from a genetic reservoir to produce compounds that allow them to adapt and survive. Understanding how plants react in an environment where the traditional stress of gravity is removed can provide new insights into how adaptations come about and how researchers might take advantage of such changes for the discovery of new characteristics, traits, biomedical applications and efficacy.”
“We’re proud to join Space Tango in this enterprise and look forward to the breakthroughs we believe will come from the confluence of plant biology and microgravity,” commented William Hilliard, Atalo CEO. Atalo Holdings is a vertically integrated ag-tech company that will be providing certified hemp seed and expertise to the venture.
Space Tango develops products and processes that create new industries to improve life on Earth by streamlining research, operation of experiments and manufacturing in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS).