Project Maleth, Malta’s first-ever scientific research programme to be sent into space, arrived at NASA yesterday 26th August.

This landmark project is being supported by local pharmaceutical company Evolve, which donated €30,000 to the University of Malta’s Research, Innovation, and Development Trust.

“This has to be one of the proudest moments in the history of Evolve,” Christopher Busuttil Delbridge, the company’s Managing Director said.

Chris Busuttil Delbridge
Christopher Busuttil Delbridge

“We are thrilled to be involved in Project Maleth, Malta’s first opportunity to be directly part of the ever-growing space industry,” he continued.

Led by Professor Joseph Borg, the project will see six samples taken from diabetic patients with foot ulcers placed in a biocube and transported to the International Space Station to be analysed remotely.

“This analysis will take place alongside studies happening locally in our laboratory,” Prof. Borg had said.

“Based on this parallel study, we will be able to compare the bacterial genetics in space and on earth and we will be able to explore both differences and similarities,” he continued.

Joseph Borg / Research Trust Malta

Once launched, the team will have remote access to the biocube via a virtual private network, thus allowing them to monitor the experiment remotely and visually inspect the samples.

Project Maleth could thus lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes.

“This research is one giant leap for Maltese science and will lay the necessary groundwork for more cutting edge and breakthrough science projects in the future,” Mr Busuttil Delbridge concluded.

The launch is set to take place tomorrow 28th August at 9:30am and will be streamed live online.

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