• SpaceX ISS resupply mission to be launched in March
  • It will take along an Adidas foam mechanism to conduct experiments in microgravity
  • It will also take payloads (cargo) from both commercial and institutional partners

SpaceX will launch its resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 2. The resupply mission will carry along the usual supplies, but will also take up cargo from its commercial and institutional partners to space.

The cargo constitutes an interesting payload — a range of experimental material from the private space agency’s paying customers and partners. One such payload is Adidas’ “Boost in space” experiment gear. “Boost” is Adidas’ technology for creating comfortable sports shoes and sneakers. It creates midsoles for shoes by fusing together thousands of tiny foam spheres.

When this is performed on earth, the foam spheres are affected by gravity. The company plans to observe the behavior of the tiny foam spheres in microgravity and use these observations to improve the performance of its shoes, on earth. It will send a toaster-size device on board the SpaceX resupply mission to the ISS to observe how the material will perform in extreme conditions and confined environments.

“The unique conditions of space provide the ideal environment to discover the unknown. For example, microgravity is the only condition in which we can observe specific experiments like the behavior of a spinning soccer ball without interrupting airflow and external supports holding it in place. Having control of certain variables allows us to conduct tests and collect insights that aren’t possible on Earth,” Christine Kretz, Vice President of Program and Partnerships of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory stated in an official Adidas press release.

Along with the Adidas experimental equipment, it will also carry gear from faucet maker Delta to see how water droplets perform in space to help create more efficient showers. The cargo will also contain the Emulate organ-on-a-chip, which will contain intestinal tissue to find out microgravity and space travel affect immune cells and their infection-fighting capabilities. Another medical experiment is the growth of heart tissue from stem cells in Space, which may help astronauts go for longer voyages.

If everything goes according to plan, SpaceX is expected to post the live stream of the launch on its website in March.

Pictured is the exterior of SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California as seen on July 22, 2018. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images