DENVER, July 28 (UPI) -- Radiation shielding technology by StemRad Ltd. is being jointly investigated with Lockheed Martin for possible use to protect astronauts.
StemRad's 360 Gamma product is a vest worn by first responders and emergency rescue workers for protection against gamma radiation by providing protection of the wearer's bone marrow stem cells.
Lockheed Martin said the collaboration with StemRad, an Israeli company with U.S. operations, is part of its effort to forge international partnerships for human exploration of deep space.
"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 innovative solution to enhance crew safety on the journey to Mars."
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for building Orion, NASA's next-generation spacecraft for transport to destinations beyond low Earth orbit.
The joint project will be supported by grants from Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of Florida and Israel's executive agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy.
"We are excited to be collaborating with Lockheed Martin on this important project," said Dr. Oren Milstein, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of StemRad. "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."