The two 95-centimeter-tall phantoms are named Helga and Zohar. They are virtually twins – with a single but crucial difference: Zohar will wear the newly developed radiation protection vest "AstroRad" from the Israeli partner StemRad during the flight. Helga will fly without a protective vest. Her data will be used to determine the effectiveness of the new radiation protection vest.
Here, too, plastic plays a supporting – and protective – role: "The vest is composed of a proprietary plastic with differential thickness around the body to complement the body's own self-shielding and provide selective protection of the most radiation sensitive organs and regions with high stem cell concentrations. This approach provides the greatest biological impact of protection with the least amount of mass, an important consideration for any object being launched into space," Dr. Oren Milstein, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of StemRad, reveals to us in an interview. "Functionally, individual solid shielding elements are organized into a scale-like hexagonal architecture to allow for uninhibited, comfortable movement of the astronauts while wearing the AstroRad."