Boeing and the University of Queensland in Australia have concluded testing activities for a surface coating on the International Space Station that works to mitigate infections caused by elements like the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Last year, the joint research effort launched aboard the Boeing-built ecoDemonstrator vehicle under the Confident Travel Initiative to assess the Boeing-UQ antimicrobial coating's capacity to prevent bacteria and virus spread including COVID-19 transmission, Boeing said Monday.
The experiment involved two sets of identical objects meant to provide insight into how the spacecraft coating could protect the ISS crew's health and prevent interplanetary microbe contamination.
The sets will be sent for analysis at Boeing laboratories later this year.
Mike Delaney, chief aerospace safety officer at Boeing, said the research team was “encouraged“ by the experiment's initial results which show potential for the surface coating to support other measures for the mitigation of disease transmission.
Michael Monteiro, a professor at the UQ Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, said the team is working to achieve regulatory approval for the experimental coating.
Boeing and UQ have jointly conducted research and development initiatives since 2003. Boeing has been NASA's prime contractor for ISS operations since 1993.