Colorado-built containers will be aboard shuttle

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Containers built at the University of Colorado will carry two experiments aboard the space shuttle Discovery’s last flight.

The shuttle is scheduled for launch on Feb. 24 after a delay of nearly four months.

The two experiments will be in cylinders built by BioServe Space Technologies in CU-Boulder’s aerospace engineering sciences department.

The cylinders will be in a suitcase-size device called the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus, which was also developed at CU-Boulder. It has been launched on more than 20 shuttle missions, and two are now on the International Space Station.

The two experiments in the CU-built containers are designed to study changes in the virulence of bacteria low gravity and study cell cultivation in a tropical plant known to produce nuts that could be used to make biofuels.