World-leading aerospace company, Boeing, along with University of Queensland, has begun testing an antimicrobial surface coating to fight against the raging Coronavirus. And, we’ve got all the scoop. Scroll down. By Bayar Jain
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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are experimenting with a unique antimicrobial surface coating in an attempt to curb the Coronavirus menace, states a release issued by Boeing on their official website. The aerospace company, the release notes, has teamed with The University of Queensland (UQ) for this research project. With this new coating, scientists hope to fight the spread of other bacteria and viruses as well.
According to Mike Delaney, Boeing’s Chief Aerospace Safety Officer, this coating will pave the way for broad-based applicability when used in conjunction with other preventive measures. Currently, tests are underway on two identical sets—one coated, and one not—of objects, including an aeroplane seat buckle; fabric from its seats and seat belts; and parts of armrests and tray tables. Over the course of the year, ISS crew members will continue to touch these objects every few days to transfer naturally-occurring human microbes onto its surfaces. Later in 2021, these objects will be returned to Earth for further analysis in labs to ascertain the coating’s efficacy.
Interestingly, the joint research project took off last year as a part of the company’s Confident Travel Initiative. Professor Michael Monteiro from the university’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology states that the coating was initially being developed to protect space missions. However, with the spread of the Coronavirus, scientists reportedly modified the formula to target more viruses and bacteria present on Earth, too. If successful, the antimicrobial surface coating in the spacecraft could not only ensure the health and safety of onboard crew members and systems but could ultimately also prevent interplanetary contamination.