The International Space Station Will Have a Surgical Robot On Board

The International Space Station Will Have a Surgical Robot On Board

While most boys dreamed of becoming astronauts when they were little, even those cool and smart guys who put on spacesuits can get sick. This is especially available when space missions last long periods of time, such as a few months or even years. It would be nice for astronauts to have quick and broader access to medical care, and scientists from the Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC) of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) thought about this aspect very seriously.

According to Universe Today, those scientists came up with the Miniaturized In-vivo Robotic Assistant (MIRA). We’re talking about a miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) platform that’s small and potentially able to perform medical procedures where there’s no gravity to ruin our dreams of flying like birds.

Scheduled for launch in 2024

MIRA will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) two years from now to show what it’s made of. That will only be a test mission, however, so there’s no use getting too excited just yet.


John Murphy, who is CEO of Virtual Incision, declared in a recent press release:

The Virtual Incision MIRA platform was designed to deliver the power of a mainframe robotic-assisted surgery device in a miniaturized size, with the goal of making RAS accessible in any operating room on the planet. Working with NASA aboard the space station will test how MIRA can make surgery accessible in even the most faraway places.

Although MIRA still needs to be put to the test, there are already reasons to be confident in its capabilities. Here’s what Dr. Jobst stated:

The MIRA platform is a true breakthrough platform for general surgery, and it is extremely gratifying to be the first surgeon in the world to use the system. The procedure went smoothly, and the patient is recovering well. I’m excited to play a part in taking the first steps toward increasing access to robotically assisted surgery, which has clear benefits for patients.

The International Space Station remains the joint project of five participating space agencies: NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), JAXA from Japan, and Roscosmos from Russia.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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