Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NASA to test Israeli radiation protection vest on Orion mission

radiation protection vest
The US space agency NASA will launch an Israeli-produced radiation protection vest into space as part of its last test flight of Orion spacecraft before manned missions begin, Israel said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Science & Technology of Israel said that NASA and Israel Space Agency (ISA) have signed an agreement for the use of the radiation protection vest as part of NASA's test flight of Orion spacecraft.

NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and ISA Director Avi Blasberger attended the signing ceremony Tuesday during the 34th Space Symposium held in Colorado, the US

If the trial, which is coined as "Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE)," is successful, it may have applicability for future exploration, said the ministry.

The vest was developed by Israeli company StemRad following the success of its first product, a belt used by first respondents that protects the pelvis by ensuring survival of critical bone marrow stem cells. It is now widely used in the world.

The vest is produced on the principle of selective protection of bone marrow which is important for blood cell renewal and other organs that are particularly sensitive to radiation exposure due to the formation of cancer.

As women are particularly vulnerable to space radiation, the first step is an adapted suit for women, noted the ministry.

In addition, ISA will soon sign an agreement with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to launch the vest to the International Space Station (ISS) at the beginning of 2019.

The astronauts on ISS will wear the vest daily at the station for the purpose of ergonomic evaluation.

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