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SpaceX Crew Dragon docking with the International Space Station

Photo by: SpaceX

On April 8, the first all-private astronaut mission lifted off toward the International Space Station. Aboard the Axiom Space Ax-1 Mission was also an experiment by Moffitt Cancer Center researchers Drs. Derek Duckett and Patsy McDonald.

After a successful splashdown on April 25, the experiment is now back in the hands of Moffitt researchers.

“This is the first step for understanding the next frontier of cancer research,” said Dr. Liz Bailey, a research scientist at Moffitt. “Understanding how space travel will affect our bodies and how we can protect ourselves in the future.”

The next step in the process is analyzing the data collected through the experiment, and the ultimate goal would be to eventually develop a drug that could prevent DNA damage caused by space travel.

The experiment was made possible through grant funding from Space Florida.

Read more about the experiment and check out the video below to see how researchers will use the results to inform future therapeutics.