With all the unpleasant news happening in Israel and the world, it is important to look the positive news to balance things out. It is not just doom and gloom happening in the world. There are incredible things happening every day.
For anyone even remotely interested in space, it does not get much more positive than NASA’s upcoming Artemis 1 mission. The unmanned flight is going to the moon in a matter of months. America’s return to the moon is many decades overdue.
It is not just unmanned flight being planned, but manned as well. Artemis 2 will have a manned crew who will orbit the moon and Artemis 3 will be putting boots on the lunar surface.
One of the items being flown to the moon and back on Artemis 1 is an Israeli made radiation vest designed for space. It has been specially designed for astronauts and tested on the ISS.
On January 28 of this year, Space published an article by Elizabeth Howell, Israel signs Artemis accords for moon exploration:
“Israel is already participating in the Artemis 1 mission, set to launch without a crew later this year around the moon, with the AstroRad radiation vest. The vest will track how much radiation an astronaut may receive during their lunar voyage, which takes place outside the protective Van Allen belts near Earth.”
The vests will shortly be going through its most important testing for space travel. Radiation is a concern for exploration beyond Earth and this vest may very well solve that problem.
Getting back to the moon is just the first step of colonization and exploration. Mars and the upper atmosphere of Venus become easier to get to by first colonizing the moon. What will soon be learned about the vests will help save lives in space.
It is a relatively short distance between Earth and the moon. The risks of radiation, even during the Apollo days, was limited, but still posed risk. Each trip to the moon and every step left on the lunar surface taught us more about the hazards of space, including radiation on the human body.
The moon, and eventually planets, will have bases and observatories built to block radiation. It will be getting to those places and returning them safely home where the greatest radiation risks will be.
Beyond the moon, the risks of getting to Mars and Venus increases drastically. Any advancement in safety is a good thing. Just like the moon, we want to be able to bring back people who survive the hazards of space.
Even if the vest fails during the Artemis 1 testing, much-needed knowledge is gained. When it comes to space, the more knowledge we have, the better.
When Israel signed the Artemis Accord, they made a commitment to explore the moon. One day, Israel will use their own rocket to take Israeli astronauts to the lunar surface. The vests being tested will most likely be used to save those future lives.
Who knows what the next couple of decades will bring? There may very well be an Israeli observatory on the lunar surface.
One might be led to believe the vest was a government run program, instead of an Israeli startup. StemRad, the company who developed the radiation vest, is a private company that has been around for just over a decade.
On May 1, 2019, the Jerusalem Post published the article, Spotlight on Israeli startups – StemRad – radiation protection:
“StemRad is the only company developing, manufacturing, and providing radiation protection worldwide. StemRad, located in Tel Aviv, innovates ways to protect first responders, firefighters, military personnel, astronauts and physicians from radiation exposure.”
For an Israeli company that has been around for such a short time, to have a product going to the moon is an impressive accomplishment. It is something to be celebrated.