Medical Hardware for the Space Environment: An Engineering Experience at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
MetadataShow full item record
The complexity and amount of medical hardware needed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) constantly shifts with mission requirements. Early missions such as Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo required minimal, relatively non-complex medical hardware, but as mission lengths have increased from hours to multiple months and mission crew sizes have increased from one to seven, so has the amount and complexity of medical hardware. As such, a need has arisen to develop a methodology by which medical hardware is certified for the space environment in a safe, consistent, and economically viable manner. This record of study documents my experiences certifying medical hardware for the space environment by providing two specific certification examples, a defibrillator, and automated external defibrillator and provides a brief history of the medical hardware used by NASA for its manned space programs.