Posts Tagged “International Space Station”
The AstroRad, an Israeli antiradiation vest for outer space developed by the US-Israeli startup StemRad, is set to be launched onto the International Space Station (ISS) along with an assortment of science-related supplies this weekend.
The Tel Aviv-based company in collaboration with the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) at the Ministry of Science and Technology said that a prototype of the vest would be launched on Saturday, November 2nd at 9:59 am EST time (3:59 am Israeli time.)The International Space Station photographed in 2010 by an STS-132 crew member on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation.
This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com.
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The International Space Station photographed in 2010 by an STS-132 crew member on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. The AstroRad vest, a suit designed to help protect astronauts from radiation and mitigate its damaging effects, is made out of high-density polyethylene, a thermoplastic polymer, which is thicker around the more sensitive organs.
Three American astronauts will wear the suit during routine activities and under the space station’s gravity conditions for varying periods of time. The vest will be used to gather feedback from astronauts on ergonomics, range of motion, experience, and overall comfort level in the environment.
The vest protects the bone marrow, lungs, chest, stomach, colon, and the ovaries among women, organs that are particularly sensitive to the formation of malignant tumors as a result of exposure to radiation.
This will be the first time in history that the Israeli flag, mounted on the AstroRad vest, will be displayed at the International Space Station, a low-orbit space station that serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
NASA joined forces with ISA in April 2018 to tap into StemRad’s cutting-edge technology. The ISA, along with the company that developed the wearable radiation protection solution, announced in July 2018 that the vest was ready for launch.
At the time, the ISA, which was sponsoring StemRad’s space activity, signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to launch the vest for advanced ergonomic studies in microgravity.
Dr. Oren Milstein, CEO of StemRad, said in a statement that the success of the AstroRad trial is “a critical contribution by the State of Israel to NASA’s most ambitious research program since landing on the moon.”
“The Israeli Space Agency and StemRad are proud to work with NASA, Lockheed Martin, and our other partners in developing critical safety equipment to protect space astronauts’ lives, thus advancing a new era of deep space research,” said Avi Blasberger, director of the Israeli Space Agency, in the statement.
The vest is part of some 4,600 pounds (2086kg) worth of equipment to be delivered to the station aboard a Cygnus Northrop Grumman (Cygnus NG-12) spacecraft. The Cygnus NG-12 is the 13th planned flight of the robotic resupply spacecraft and its 12th flight to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. It will be launched from the NASA flight facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.
Other experiments that will be on the spacecraft include space mice, robotic avatars, and recycling polymers for 3D printers. Analog-1, a study led by the European Space Agency that will head to the space station with this launch, will explore how humans can best operate and communicate with robots in space. Also, Zero-G Oven will be used by astronauts to bake cookies in space for the first time.
A second Israeli astronaut, former fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe, will take off to space to take part in a national, historic and scientific mission scheduled for the end of 2021. The announcement was made on Monday at a joint press conference hosted by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the Ramon Foundation together with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Stibbe’s mission comes 18 years after the country’s first astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon, was sent to space and died alongside six fellow astronauts when their space shuttle broke up upon re-entry to Earth after a 16-day research mission in 2003.
Rivlin said the announcement of a second Israeli astronaut being sent to space was “a day of national celebration and immense pride.”
An Israeli pilot, with the blue and white flag embroidered on his uniform, is proving once again, as we have proved here over the last 72 years, that even the skies are no limit,” he said in his speech.
“The absence of Ilan, Rona and Asaf Ramon today reverberates in the heavens. The family is a source of true Israeli inspiration and pride,” he said, referring to the astronaut, his widow, Rona, a public activist, STEM influencer and supporter of the education and advancement of youth in Israel who died in 2018, and their son, Asaf, an F-16 pilot who died in a training accident in 2009.
Rona Ramon established the Ramon Foundation in 2010 and ran the organization until her death. Stibbe is also one of the founders of the Ramon Foundation and is a prominent veteran voluntary member of its board of directors. According to the Ramon Foundation website, Stibbe and Ilan Ramon flew together as fighter pilots.
The foundation runs advanced programs in the STEM fields, and encourages generation of Israelis toward academic excellence, and social leadership.
Stibbe is expected to launch from Florida to the International Space Station at the end of 2021, on behalf of the Ramon Foundation in partnership with the State of Israel.
His mission marks new territory in the private space industry.
The Israeli astronaut will be taking part in an international mission, initiated by Axiom Space, and which will be manned by two other private astronauts.
Stibbe will pay for the trip, the launch and all necessary equipment, according to a Haaretz report.
Stibbe is the founder and chair of Vital Capital Fund and, over the last 35 years, has worked on developing business and financing initiatives for projects in the developing world on vital infrastructure projects.
On arriving in space, Stibbe and a number of other astronauts will go to the International Space Station (ISS), pending NASA approval. The mission commander for Axiom Space is veteran US astronaut and VP of Axiom Space Michael López-Alegría, who has over 40 years of aerospace experience. He has flown to space four times and commanded the 14th ISS mission.
“Next year, I will have the opportunity to participate in a mission to the International Space Station – a fascinating mission to science, education and the exploration of human nature. The International Space Station is one of the greatest points of cooperation in the world, where astronauts from many countries live and work together. This is the kind of fellowship that is so vital, particularly at this time as we deal with the coronavirus crisis,” said Stibbe, a Colonel in the IAF reserves and who has logged 43 years as a fighter pilot.
“After the tragic loss of Ilan and Asaf, we created the Ramon Foundation with Rona to see how space research can heighten the senses, spark our curiosity and even challenge our wildest imagination. I hope that our mission to space will open new channels of cooperation, peace and believe in our ability to look after our beautiful planet for future generations,” he said at the press conference announcing the mission.
Minister of Science and Technology Yizhar Shai said the ministry was “proud to be a partner in the mission of the second Israeli astronaut, Eytan Stibbe, on a national mission that brings together the best brains of tens of thousands of children and adults, men and women, scientists and industrialists.
“The State of Israel is already considered a global power in the field of space. The mission of the second Israeli astronaut will contribute to the development of the New Space industry that will create tens of thousands of jobs and a new and important branch of the innovation and entrepreneurial economy,” he added.
The Ramon Foundation will lead all aspects of the Israeli mission – scientific and educational – together with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Israeli Space Agency, which will lead the government ministry’s partnership, according to the announcement.
The plan calls for Stibbe to spend 200 hours at the ISS, during which he will perform a number of experiments using Israeli technology and scientific developments from researchers and startups that he will take with him to space.
He is also expected to bring the world of space to Israeli children.
Addressing the newest Israeli astronaut, Rivlin said: “My dear Eytan, up there, beyond the seventh heavens, you will do Israeli technological experiments, some of which have been developed by our young people. You will be the envoy of those brilliant brains, the present and future generations of Israeli research, and will help them understand how the world works when we look at it from afar. You will be Israel’s representative in a human effort to understand the wonderful workings that allow life on this planet, and uncover the secrets of the universe.”
The Ramon Foundation announced that in the three months before he blasts off, Stibbe will undergo a concentrated training period in the US, Germany and Russia.
“This mission to space, for science and research, on behalf of humanity’s unending search for knowledge, for discovery, for understanding, is being launched at a time when humanity is facing one of its greatest challenges. It is a crisis our generation has not known. Because of the virus, we have come to realize how many great concepts – like science, medicine and research – can fundamentally shake our lives,” said the president.
“We have come to realize how much we do not know, not only about distant planets and infinitely huge galaxies, but even here on our own small planet. Dealing with this microscopic, tiny virus, in an effort to find a vaccine, we must work together, scientists from different countries and peoples. That is the power of science. It reminds us that we are part of something much bigger, that speaks to the human spirit that is within us all,” said Rivlin.
“Go in peace and return in peace, and do not forget to wave to us from up there,” Rivlin signed off.