NASA is sending Iowa-grown algae from the DMACC Biotechnology Lab to space on the next International Space Station resupply load, Des Moines Area Community College announced today. Julie González, DMACC biology professor and chair of the biotechnology program, will hand-deliver the algae to NASA officials this weekend at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The algae will be delivered to the space station via the SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-17 rocket launch of a Cargo Dragon spacecraft. The project involves the common algae haematococcus pluvialis, often found in puddles, that has the ability to produce an antioxidant carotenoid called astaxanthin to protect itself under stress. The project was led by DMACC graduate Lyndsay Baker, now employed with Kemin Industries, who had her research proposal selected by NASA through the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program (NCAS). The mission launches Tuesday at 3:22 a.m. CDT. More information is available online.