Astronauts heading to Mars could require protection from gamma ray radiations rather than unfriendly climate or decreasing supplies. Those who are in Earth’s orbit, such as on the International Space Station, don’t require such protection. As the planet’s magnetic field protects them by acting as a shield. However, things aren’t the same outside Earth’s orbit. So, an anti-radiation vest has been developed to shield the explorers.
Tel Aviv-based StemRad
Developed by Tel Aviv-based StemRad, the AstroRad Radiation Shield is set for trials on an unmanned lunar mission aboard the Orion capsule, scheduled for late 2018.
The anti-radiation vest is made of non-metallic protective materials to cover the organs of each astronaut. It will provide protection to vital human tissue, especially stem cells that could be destroyed by solar radiation in deep space or on Mars, with no protection from the sparse atmosphere. NASA hopes to send its astronauts to Mars in the mid-2030s.
The image of the vest you’re seeing is basically a mockup, but StemRad’s CEO Oren Milstein said the first anti-radiation vest should be produced by the end of this year. And as mentioned, the Orion mission will involve no human. Instead, an AstroRad strapped torso dummy, along with another unprotected dummy will fly. Both of them will be analyzed after they come back to Earth.