U.S., Israeli Space Agencies Join Forces to Protect Astronauts From Radiation

Featuring FIBA company StemRad. 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—U.S. and Israeli space officials have teamed up with a Tel Aviv-based technology startup to combat one of the gravest threats confronting future astronauts: excessive radiation exposure.

To alleviate such hazards, which pose one of the most serious obstacles to human exploration of deep space, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Israel Space Agency are scheduled to sign an agreement Tuesday during a conference here to test flexible, polyethylene vests intended to shield future crews from cancer-causing radiation.

StemRad Ltd., a closely held Israeli company that already supplies a different type of personal radiation-protective gear to a limited numbers of soldiers, nuclear plant workers and emergency responders, developed the space version of its product in conjunction with Lockheed Martin Corp. The vests are designed to be light and supple enough for future astronauts to wear while doing normal tasks on lengthy missions deep in the solar system and eventually to Mars, according to Oren Milstein, the company’s founder and chief executive.

In addition to the anticipated scientific payoff, Lockheed Martin officials envision business and geopolitical benefits from engaging more closely with Israel and its fast-growing commercial space sector.

NASA reiterated that “radiation is one of the biggest hazards crew will face on deep space missions,” adding that the cooperative effort with Israel aims to “develop additional methods to protect them.”…

… Read the full article on Wall Street Journal here. 

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