JERUSALEM, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Israel on Wednesday started the testing of a homegrown new radiation protection vest in outer space with international partners, the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) said.
The testing is carried out as part of NASA's Artemis 1 uncrewed 25-day Moon test flight on the Orion spacecraft, launched from the Kennedy Space Center in the U.S. state of Florida on Wednesday.
The trial is co-managed by the ISA and the German Aerospace Center, with the assistance of spacecraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and NASA.
Two identical manikins, named Zohar and Helga, were installed on the spacecraft for testing the vest developed by the Israeli startup company StemRad.
The vest is made of high-density polyethylene and priced at about 1 million U.S. dollars, according to StemRad.
The German-made manikin torsos were manufactured from materials that mimic human bone, soft tissues, and the organs of an adult female, according to the ISA.
Female forms have been chosen because women typically have greater sensitivity to the effects of space radiation, it explained.
The vest, worn only by Zohar for comparison purposes, covers the upper body, the uterus, and blood-forming organs.
Both manikins are equipped with radiation detectors, which will enable scientists to map internal radiation doses that bodily areas containing critical organs may receive.
Items chosen by the Israeli public were attached to Zohar, including a stone from the Dead Sea, tree seeds that will be planted in Israel after the return to Earth, and the Jewish decorative case "mezuzah".
For the occasion, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior issued a symbolic official passport to Zohar. ■