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An Israeli company has commenced a joint R&D projectto have its radiation defense shiels adapted for deep spave exploration.

An Israeli company is partnering with Lockheed Martin for joint researchand development (R&D) to see if its radiation shielding technology - initially designed to protect nuclear first responders from gamma radiation - can be used to defend astronauts exploring deep space.


StemRad, based in Tel Aviv with a branch in Palo Alto, California, works with militaries, nuclear energy sources and governmental agencies tocreate protection equipment for first responders to radiological events and disasters.

The Israeli company's 360 Gamma is a vest protecting the source of bone marrow stem cells from gamma radiation exposure, thereby allowing the stem cells to stay safe and replenish cells throughout the body.


Now it is working together with Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for NASA's next-generation spacecraft Orion that will take part in long-duration missions in deep space including stops on an asteroid and Mars. 


If the StemRad 360 Gamma can be successfully adapted, it may save astronauts' lives. The joint project has been supported by a bilateral research committee, and will be supported by grants from Space Florida, Florida's aerospace economic development agency, as well as MATIMOP, the executive agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Economy Ministry.


"We’re going to take our extensive knowledge of human spaceflight, apply our nano-materials engineering expertise, and working closely with StemRad, evaluate the viability for this type of radiation shielding in deep-space," said Randy Sweet, Lockheed Martin business development director for the civil space line of business.


"The Lockheed Martin team believes this could result in an innovativesolution to enhance crew safety on the journey to Mars."

Dr. Oren Milstein, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of StemRad, said, "we are excited to be collaborating with Lockheed Martin on this important project."


"Our team possesses advanced capabilities in the areas of radiation biology and innovative shielding strategies, and we will now be applying those skills to the unique challenges in human space exploration," said Milstein.

Radiation issues for manned Mars mission

sidebar radiation article

During the rover's cruise to Mars between December 2011 and July 2012, RAD showed that an astronaut would clock up the same radiation dose in a day that the average American receives in a year. If you exclude medical dosages, it would be 10 times more than the average American.

See original article from The Guardian here.

Materials that Halt Hazardous Space Radiation

Radiation has long been an issue when it comes to space travel. In fact, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity recently confirmed previous research on the hazards of space radiation, revealing that radiation levels on the way to the Red Planet are several hundred times higher than the those humans receive on Earth. Now, scientists may have found a way to shield astronauts from the hazards of this radiation.

See original article from Science World Report here.

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