IAF: New Space-Related Developments


Radiation proof vests and smart satellites are just some of the space-related developments that kept scientists busy over the last year. 49 years after „Star Trek” went on air, IAF site presents a number of modern developments which turn imagination to reality

„Star Trek” is one of the most successful and famous TV shows in the world. The show follows the crew of the starship „Enterprise” and later the „Deep Space Nine” space station and the starship „Voyager”. Since 8 September 1966, when the show first went on air in the USA, there was 6 „Star Trek” TV shows and 12 movies which were translated into many languages.

The show takes places in a time when people have successfully managed to launch faster-than-light manned flights into space. The flights are based on a technology called „Warp Drive” and according to the plot, the first flight took place in 5 April 2063.

A moment before you fly to the future with „Star Trek”, the IAF provides a sneak peek at some recent developments in the field of space.

On Our Way To Mars
Many organizations around the world, especially in the USA, are working hard in order to send people to Mars in the coming decade, a mission that requires meticulous preliminary engineering preparations. For that aim, NASA is planning on sending astronauts to a small asteroid, which will be diverted to enter orbit around the moon beforehand, to simulate the staying on Mars. In order to do so, NASA’s engineers are designing a small robotic spacecraft which will capture a small space rock and slowly push it to rotate around the moon. „Scientific American Israel” reported that the specific asteroid for the mission was not chosen yet and the spacecraft was not yet built, but the rock is expected to be put near the moon in 2021.

Radiation Protection For Astronauts
Flying in space can be dangerous for astronauts, as their body is exposed to radiation. In order to fly people into outer space and get them back home safely, „Lockheed Martin” and the Israeli company „StemRad” are testing a new radiation proof vest to be used by astronauts. The companies have initiated a joint research and development process to evaluate the efficiency of StemRad’s „360 Gamma” vest which was developed to protect first-responders and emergency rescue workers and provides optimal protection of the wearer’s bone marrow stem cells.

„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, to Lockheed Martin’s website. „The Lockheed Martin team believes this could result in an innovative solution to enhance crew safety on the journey to Mars.”

One of Twelve
Israel is one of the 12 countries in the world that possess the technology to send self-developed satellites into space, alongside the USA, China, French and Russia. The first Israeli satellite, „Ofek 1”, was sent into space in 1988 and has stayed there for 118 days.Over ten other Israeli satellites were sent into space since.
The first Israeli astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon, was launched into space with his fellow team members on the space shuttle „Columbia” 12 years ago. The space shuttle disintegrated while returning to earth, and all its crew members died in the disaster.

Source: IAF
Author: Shachar Zorani