A research study undertaken by researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA) will be launched to International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow.

BANTING: A research study undertaken by researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA) will be launched to International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow.

The research that started two years ago titled ‘Smart Optical Fibres for Passive Dosimetry in Space’ (SOFPADS) would be launched via SpaceX Dragon CRS-17 cargo spacecraft aboard the Falcon-9 rocket from the US Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 3.59am (EDA) or 3.59pm Malaysia time.

SOFPADS is a passive dosimeter created using optic fibres and it consists of two samples, namely E-SOFPADS and I-SOFPADS, said ANGKASA in a statement posted on its Twitter account today.

These samples would be placed at ISS to measure the radiation in outer space as an initial step to see the reaction of optic fibres to radiation in microgravity environment. Potentially, it could be used as a radiation ray detector in outer space. Normally, it’s used to monitor the level of radiation received by the astronauts at the ISS.

E-SOFPADS would be exposed to radiation in outer space outside the KIBO (a Japanese science module for ISS) module using ‘Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism’ (ExHAM) while I-SOFPADS would be exposed to radiation ray inside the KIBO module at ISS.

"Both samples would return to Earth upon completion of radiation exposure in zero gravity for 360 days and 300 days respectively," the statement said.

Public can check for launch details at https://www.nasa.gov/launchschedule/ and watch the launch live via https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive.