Launch Delayed for New ISS Experiments - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

Launch Delayed for New ISS Experiments

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WZDX) - A space launch was postponed Monday and the delay is adding extra time to what many hope will lead to a medical breakthrough.

Those experiments will be sent up to the International Space Station. Not only will they be monitored from right here in Huntsville, one of the experiments themselves was designed here.

"We've been in business here for 13 years, so we've been in business pretty much since it started," said Ricardo Rodriguez, the Payload Operations Manager.

Here at the Marshall Space Flight Center, workers are kept busy studying science.

"We are in charge of the science that happens on ISS. This control room you see behind me is where we manage all of the science that is going on ISS," Rodriguez said.

Part of that science is from right here in North Alabama at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

"There's a payload going up. It's a protein crystal growth payload, and what that means is they're growing crystals of our human proteins on orbit," said Rodriguez.

That could have big implications here on earth.

"The reason they do that is because in zero gravity. They get bigger crystals and then they can bring them back home and test those crystals. One of the things they're doing is designing drugs that can attack a particular protein so that rather than a drug attacking your body generally, it may pick up a cancer cell and attack just that cell," says Rodriguez.

But the Marshall Space Flight Center will have to wait just a little longer to start these experiments. Monday's SpaceX shuttle launch was delayed because of a helium leak.

"It's kind of nice to have home grown experiments going up there. The fact that Alabama does have a lot of science, Huntsville is a big science place. Birmingham is a huge science place when it comes to medical science. So we see their payloads going up and their science going up there all the time," said Rodriguez.

There hasn't been a rescheduled date yet for the SpaceX launch. The next opportunity for the launch could be this Friday.


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