LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Karl Hasenstein hopes to finally send his zero-gravity, plant-growing experiment into space this month, after more than 20 years of research and one experiment lost in the tragic explosion of Space Shuttle Columbia.

The Advocate reports the project is extremely important to Hasenstein, a professor of biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

To get his project in space, Hasenstein said he first had to submit a proposal convincing NASA that it was an important study. After approval, the experiment and its abilities were scrutinized by engineers.

NASA delayed the launch of Falcon 9, originally scheduled for Sunday, to March 30, which has also stalled the experiment hitching a ride on the ship to the space station.

Hasenstein said the delay hasn't dampened his spirits.