A jacket against cosmic radiation: it was tested by Paolo Nespoli
Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli has successfully conducted the PERSEO experiment on board the International Space Station-ISS, testing in orbit the first demonstrator for a jacket filled with water to protect the body from space radiation.
Coordinated by the Italian Space Agency-ASI and the University of Pavia, PERSEO is one of the 13 scientific experiments selected in the context of Paolo Nespoli’s VITA mission and could represent the first prototype of a protection system to be worn by astronauts, able to act as a “shield”, in particular in case of solar particle events.
As part of the experiment, Paolo Nespoli filled the jacket with about 22 litres of drinking water that provided a 7 cm thick protection against cosmic radiation, especially for the most sensitive parts of the body, such as the chest and the back. The main objective of the experiment was to test the level of comfort and wearability of the jacket once it had been filled with water, and evaluate the potential for improvement through a questionnaire completed by the astronaut.