Bar-Ilan Technology in Space

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On April 6, the “Rakia” mission will head for space with technology to test vision in microgravity

A digital vision test designed by Bar-Ilan University researchers Prof. Uri Polat and Prof. Yossi Mandel, together with Dr. Eran Schenker, Chief Medical Innovation Officer at the Israel Aerospace Medicine Institute, will be one of the scientific experiments to be conducted at the International Space Station as part of the “Rakia” mission with Israel’s second astronaut, Eytan Stibbe. The technology is based on a unique application and will be used to test astronauts’ vision in space after exposure to microgravity conditions.

Israeli Eytan Stibbe will be one of the four crew members aboard SpaceX on its first private space flight. Stibbe’s flight is part of the Rakia mission, which includes several scientific experiments selected to be tested in space. Bar-Ilan University, which was chosen to participate in the venture, will send with Stibbe a scientific experiment developed at the School of Optometry and Vision Science.

An application installed on a tablet accompanying Stibbe will allow vision to be measured at several key points during the flight. Prof. Polat, head of the BIU School of Optometry and Vision Science, explained that due to changes in gravity in space, the researchers expect fluctuations in the astronaut’s functional vision capabilities during the flight. Stibbe’s vision will be measured before, during and after the flight, thanks to the technology of Prof. Polat and his colleagues. Bar-Ilan is proud and excited about the opportunity to be among the selected research institutions that are privileged to send their experiments into space.

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Merav Burstein