Research project gets place on space station mission
A research project from Limerick Institute of Technology is bound for space after securing a place on an international space station (ISS) mission next year.
The research will explore how to improve the process by which naturally occurring bacteria fertilise plants. The experiments may lead to a reduced use of synthetic fertilisers.
The project was one of eight successful applications for the Space Florida ISS research competition, which was open to commercial and academic programmes worldwide. The Limerick project will involve a bacteria-carrying clover-like plant going to the station next year. It will be the first time an Irish institution has been a leader in an experiment to the space station.
The Limerick application was led by principal investigator Prof Gary Stutte, who is on secondment as a Marie Curie Research Fellow to the controlled environment laboratory for life science (Cells) at the institute. The work is co-supervised by Dr Patrick Murray, with ground-based laboratory work being carried out by Martin Hayes, a postgraduate research student .