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From Otago to outer space, Kiwi sheep could hold key to keeping astronauts safe

NASA is looking at taking wool to new heights thanks to the ingenuity of a small Kiwi company.

NASA's Orion space programme is preparing to take humans further than they've ever been before, going to the moon and beyond in 2023.

The quest to discover more about deep space has led NASA to a new breed of Otago sheep developed by Kiwi company Lanaco.

The wool off their backs has been used to create a unique air filter that allows people dealing with air pollution and other industrial pollutants to breathe a little easier.

NASA believes these woollen filters could play a critical role in helping astronauts breathe in the event of an on-board fire.

"They were very excited. They've gone around the market evaluated different competitors and so on and couldn't find something that would match it," Lanaco's head of technology, Shaun Tan, says.

Mr Tan personally delivered the filters to NASA but can't say much about their "classified" testing process.

Just whether a piece of South Island high country is destined for space should be known in six months.

As NASA’s Orion space programme preps to take humans into deep space in 2023, a small Kiwi company is playing its part. Source: 1 NEWS