Touching Space: The Israeli experiments that will be launched with Eitan Stiva

The ‘Sky’ task rises step by step: Tonight (Monday), as part of the “Space Week” events, the list of experiments that will take off with the second Israeli astronaut will be published. Eytan Stibbe desecrate. The launch of the Axiom-1 mission is expected to take place, if no further changes occur, on March 31, 2022.

As mentioned, the final list includes an unprecedented number of about 35 Israeli scientific experiments and technological demonstrations, which will be performed at the International Space Station in just one week. The experiments will be performed by Stibbe, after reaching the finish line, meeting all the criteria defined and incorporated in the mission schedule by NASA and Axiom Space.

The ‘Sky’ mission, led by the Ramon Foundation and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, is designed to promote and expand the Israeli space industry, provide opportunities for breakthroughs of dozens of Israeli technologies and scientific experiments in space, and contribute to education and art in Israel. During his stay at the space station, Eytan Stibbe will devote most of his time to performing the experiments as well as to educational and artistic activities for children and youth in Israel.

This is a very unique and significant opportunity for the scientific community, as researchers and engineers hope for scientific breakthroughs in medical, technological and engineering fields that will lead to the establishment of start-ups, new product development in a variety of industries, scientific publications and new medical treatments.

Last May, the 44 scientific experiments selected by the Scientific-Technological Committee were unveiled, with over 70 percent of them reaching the finish line and meeting all the defined criteria, including: NASA approvals, meeting engineering design goals, meeting schedules, Signing a launch contract, securing financing.

The Ramon Foundation, the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technology, and senior space agencies in Israel have worked in recent months with start-up companies, research bodies, academic institutions, Israeli scientists, and researchers to carry out the implementation process with space agencies (NASA). And European Space Agency).

Many areas

During his time in space, Stibbe is expected to perform experiments from a wide and unusual array of fields, including: astrophysics, medical equipment, disease research, communication and optics, radiation, ophthalmology, neurology, agriculture and more.

Among other things, one can find many experiments in the field of medicine, which are expected to affect both the humans on Earth and the astronauts in space, including clinical studies to be performed on crew members. One of the studies that flew into space allows the diagnosis of bacteria that may attack astronauts in space and the performance of needle-free blood tests, along with studies related to the human brain and immune system. In addition, studies related to the field of mental health, vision and heart are expected. Further experiments are related to the development of innovative treatments for leukemia in children and the degradation of plastic in space by bacteria.

A number of experiments that will take off into space deal with agriculture, including an experiment examining the feasibility of germinating chickpeas under micro-gravity conditions, and controlling the growth rate for future colonies on the moon, and using moringa seeds to purify the water in the spacecraft. In addition, there are experiments in the fields of optics and communications and astrophysics.

The experiments are expected to lead to technological, scientific and medical breakthroughs that will affect humanity both on Earth and beyond – today on the International Space Station and in the future on the Moon and Mars. Among the international partners in the experiments – MIT, Jefferson Hospotal, NASA AMES and research institutions in Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.

The hummus experiment in space (Photo: Aviv Labs)
The hummus experiment in space (Photo: Aviv Labs)

The scientific experiments that will be performed as part of the mission are of extraordinary importance, and have enormous potential, to support the lives of astronauts in space, and significantly improve life on Earth, as the micro-gravity phenomenon (prevailing in space) enables innovative experiments both scientifically and technologically, and product development more efficiently. Than under the gravitational conditions on Earth. In order to give more Israeli researchers the opportunity to participate in the ‘Sky’ mission, the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, together with the Ministry of Health, published a call for experiments in gravity totaling one million shekels. The grant provided helped lower the budgetary barrier of groundbreaking experiments on their way to the International Space Station.

As part of the preparation for space travel, and the adaptation of the experiments to micro-gravity conditions, the selected crews were given workshops and counseling sessions as well as access to the science and technology platforms at the International Space Station. In addition, they received in passing on engineering design and safety surveys with NASA. For the selected developers and scientists, this is a shortening of the process of proving safety and feasibility (POC) experiment in space, which is the most significant barrier for researchers from Israeli academia and industry. .

If the experiments are successful, dozens of entities and companies will be able to market their products to the global space industry and launch the Israeli space industry. In addition, the researchers believe that the success of the experiments could lead to the development of drugs and technologies that will improve the lives of humans on Earth.

The development of Aleph Farms (Photo: Aleph Frams)
The development of Aleph Farms (Photo: Aleph Frams)

In addition, the experiments will also take on an educational dimension, as in recent months the Davidson Institute for Science Education, in collaboration with the Ramon Foundation and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, has been developing educational content that will address the mission. The institute’s scientists have been engaged in making complex scientific experiments accessible to male and female students, and building educational content based on them, which will focus on scientific principles, explanations of phenomena, will enable experience in critical thinking, planning, execution and research evaluation.

The content was developed on the basis of insights gained at a unique conference, where the best educators in the country, and the scientists in charge of these experiments met. The content will be distributed and delivered to about one million students of all ages, from all over the country.

Meanwhile, in recent months, Stibbe has been conducting an intensive training schedule at NASA and SpaceX facilities, preparing him to stay in space. As part of the preparation for the scientific experiments, he completed a round of preparations at ESA (European Space Agency). desecrate.

“The scientific part of the ‘Sky’ mission has enormous significance for me,” said Stibbe. forward”. He added: “Along with supporting the research and development of the industry, I hope to influence the sons and daughters of the younger generation – the scientists of the future.

Eitan Steve at NASA's training complex (Photo: Uri Burg)
Eytan Stibbe at NASA’s training complex (Photo: Uri Burg)

Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Farkash HaCohen “The global space sector is undergoing a real revolution. The market has doubled in size in the past decade and is expected to grow to a trillion dollars in the coming years. She added that “the Israeli space agency in my office took part in the selection of experiments and funded important experiments that could not have taken part in the mission without its support. Sky is part of an important process of empowering this industry. ”

White Ran, CEO of the Ramon Foundation and head of the ‘Sky’ mission, stated that “The Sky mission” will break a record of experiments per week compared to any other astronaut mission in a similar period of time. The number is so large that the experiments are sent to the International Space Station in three different launches: in December, about seven experiments were launched on a SpaceX spacecraft, at the end of the month another cargo will be launched and the rest will be launched on the AX1 spacecraft. The diverse experiments that will be carried out as part of the “Sky” mission include “blue and white” experiments and international collaborations between Israeli researchers and institutions and the world’s leading international bodies, and testify to the global status of Israeli technology, entrepreneurship and science. ”

Inbal Kreis, Chairman of the Scientific-Technological Committee and Director of Innovation at the Aerospace Missile and Space Systems Division, said: The success of the scientific activity is expected to lead to the establishment of space companies, and the creation of jobs in Israeli industry. Researchers who had to wait years to perform an experiment on the space station will be able to do so thanks to the ‘Sky’ mission this year. “The many collaborations with universities and commercial companies in Israel and around the world ensure that the impact of the mission will be extensive, will contribute to improving the quality of life on Earth and will lead to a significant change in the ecosystem of the new space in Israel.”

Brigadier General (Res.) Uri Oron, Director General of the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology concluded: “The ‘Sky’ mission that is expected to take off into space in the near future is an excellent example of the dramatic change in the field of space. The mission connects individuals and private bodies to research and academic centers with governments and state bodies. Eytan Stibbe, the second Israeli in space, will perform an impressive and important series of experiments, both in quantity, variety and quality. These experiments are of great importance and contribution to understanding issues and phenomena in space on the one hand, as well as to improving our lives on Earth on the other. I am very happy that the cooperation between the Israel Space Agency and the various bodies in Israel and abroad has matured into such a large fabric of activities and experiments. ”

By Editor

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