LebanonTurf Products to be Tested in Space

LebanonTurf, a leading provider of innovative plant nutrition products to the golf and landscape industries in North America, has announced that two of its products will be sent to the International Space Station as part of a new round of zero-gravity scientific tests.

ROOTS® Healthy Start® 3-4-3 and ROOTS® PHC™ BioPak, two soil care and fertilization products from LebanonTurf, will be sent to the International Space Station on Mission 4 as part of an experiment designed to examine how a zero-gravity environment affects bacteria’s ability to decompose organic matter. Both products use microbes and bacteria to break down organic fertilizers in soil and fertilize roots.

Ninth- and tenth-grade students at Jamestown High School in Jamestown, Pa., under the direction of biology teacher Harry Rohrsbach, created the notion for this experiment. The students submitted their idea to the Student Spaceflights Experiments Program, a group that selects student-organized experiments for testing in low Earth orbit. “The students were very excited when they heard that we had been chosen,” says Rohrsbach. “We’re working on raising funds to take the class down to Virginia to watch the mission launch.”

“LebanonTurf is very pleased to be a part of this experiment on the International Space Station,” says Michael J. Kernan, Ph. D., turf scientist at LebanonTurf. “The microbes and bacteria in Healthy Start 3-4-3 and PHC BioPak make them great choices for testing soil decomposition and how it’s affected by zero gravity. We want to congratulate the students at Jamestown High School for being selected by the Student Spaceflights Experiments Program. We’re very interested in the results.”

The launch is tentatively scheduled for December 17, 2013, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

Picture: SSEP experiment creators Cade Lamont, Sydney Holler, Jason Liszka and Trey Saulsbery from Jamestown High School in Jamestown, Pa.

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