Spaceflight experiments involving biological specimens face unique challenges with regard to the on orbit harvest and preservation of material for later ground-based analyses. Preserving plant material for gene expression analyses requires that the tissue be prepared and stored in a manner that maintains the integrity of RNA. The liquid preservative RNAlater (Ambion) provides an effective alternative to conventional freezing strategies, which are limited or unavailable in current spaceflight experiment scenarios. The spaceflight use of RNAlater is enabled by the Kennedy space center fixation tube (KFT), hardware designed to provide the necessary containment of fixatives during the harvest and stowage of biological samples in space. Pairing RNAlater with the KFT system provides a safe and effective strategy for preserving plant material for subsequent molecular analyses, a strategy that has proven effective in several spaceflight experiments. Possible spaceflight scenarios for the use of RNAlater and KFTs are explored and discussed.