They may have designed it on Earth, but the bacteria-based experiment by University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy students Mohamed “Mo” Kashkoush, David Katz and Anu Patel is out of this world. Almost.
The team’s mini-laboratory will leave Earth’s atmosphere aboard the SpaceX-18 Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Sunday — 50 years and one day after Apollo 11’s 1969 moon landing. Containing E. coli and the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, the experiment’s four weeks on the International Space Station will provide insight to antibiotic resistance in microgravitational — low gravity — environments.
“We feel like we’re really on the cutting edge of education and … learning,” said Kerry Empey, who holds a doctorate in critical pharmaceutical studies and is one of the advisers for the PittPharmacy Space Team.