An experiment by researchers at the Limerick Institute of Technology has landed on the International Space Station (ISS).

Over the next month, the research will explore how a clover-type plant reacts in space and whether it can be used as a natural fertiliser for crops grown in zero gravity.

The project was one of nine from around the world chosen as part of the Space Florida NanoRacks ISS Research Competition.

It was sent on board the SpaceX-CRS 4/Dragon commercial resupply craft, which arrived at the ISS yesterday.

The scientists behind the experiment say it is the first time an Irish institution has been a leader and principal investigator in an experiment to the International Space Station.

They say that if successful in space, it may lead to crops such as peas and radishes being grown in space, helping astronauts' diets during long missions.

The application could also potentially be used to assist with sustainable farming of crops in harsh environments in the developing world, and a reduction in the use of chemical-based fertilisers.