An Israeli mission, launched on a SpaceX rocket early next year, will test dozens of new technologies that could allow the next generation of space travel.
The Rakia Mission, which will include Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe, will test more than 40 locally developed technologies in the International Space Station, according to a statement released by Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday. Among the innovations being investigated are super-fast-charging batteries and viscous liquid telescope lenses that pack more magnifying power in a smaller, simpler box, according to the study.
The project is part of Axiom Space’s broader objective of being the first private company to operate a space station. Axiom, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are among the companies seeking to commercialise what was previously only open to government agencies.
The project is dependent on the mission’s ability to raise funds to cover costs and NASA’s approval of the technologies, according to the ministry. The Ramon Foundation, named after Israel’s first astronaut, will pursue alternate funding sources after the Israeli government “issue a call for assistance in fundraising once the state’s budget has been accepted,” according to the statement.
The development of more efficient methods to monitor astronaut health will be crucial to the industry’s development as missions become more frequent and complex. According to Livne, life support systems will make up about 75% of the experimental technologies on board.
One of the technologies that will be put to the test is Healthy.io’s urine diagnostic tool, which turns pictures of dipsticks taken with smartphones into clinical results in minutes and is now in use in the United Kingdom.
StoreDot Ltd., backed by Samsung Electronics Co. and BP Plc, has announced the launch of a project to simulate the charging and depletion of car batteries in zero gravity. This will improve understanding of the chemical reactions that cause the silicon used in StoreDot’s batteries to expand during the fast-charging process, according to CEO Doron Myersdorf.