07 Dec LAUNCH Project MALETH – Malta’s FIRST space mission
To be the first of its kind in many ways is for sure true for Project MALETH,launched to the ISS on the SpaceX CRS-23 vehicle on Sunday, 29 August 2021. The first ever Maltese space experiment will be conducted on the modular ICE Cubes platform, and will hopefully mark the first of many such space missions for this island nation.
The research led by Prof Joseph Borg of the University of Malta aims to expand current knowledge regarding the human skin microbiome, by analyzing diabetic foot ulcer samples using state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques. The microbial samples will be co-cultured under both terrestrial (analog) and space-based conditions to compare the adaptive changes potentially taking place in this novel off-world environment. All samples will be analyzed in a multi-omic manner, so as to acquire maximum output with the resultant biological ‘big data’ sets.
This mission will also see the first time launch of a new ‘ScienceCube’, a modular experimental Cube developed by ICE Cubes service (Space Applications Services) for both scientific and educational projects. This flight aims also to assess the technology in a validation mission, paving the way for other novel and ambitious research to take place in the future.