Capitol Momentum - Jan 2023

Israel picks first experiment for its next Moon mission

A model of the spacecraft that will be launched to the moon. Credit: SpaceIL

Edinburgh, 30 August 2022. – Israel chose the first experiment to be launched aboard its Beresheet2 mission to the Moon in 2025. The experiment will test the efficacy and durability of different drugs for astronauts on deep space missions, according to Ynet News. Mission operator SpaceIL is currently in the process of deciding what additional experiments could be integrated into Beresheet2.

The selected experiment is led by Professor Sara Eyal of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It is going to test the stability of several life-saving medicines in lunar orbit over time. Other drugs to be tested will include sleeping pills, painkillers and antibiotics, often used by astronauts on space missions.

Lifetime of drugs in space is relatively short due to prolonged exposure to cosmic radiation and lack of resupply. Life-saving medication is essential especially during long duration missions as there is no way to evacuate team members in case of an emergency. The experiment will demonstrate which drugs are more durable in space and how the harsh conditions affect them over time.

The experiment will take place in a sealed container attached to the spacecraft, remaining in lunar orbit for two-five years. Israeli firm Space Pharma, designed a mini-laboratory to monitor the medicines using specialized lasers integrated into the container. From here, data will continually be transmitted back to Earth for analysis.

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