The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected GE Healthcare’s Vivid q Cardiovascular Ultrasound system to deliver it to the International Space Station (ISS) on its final space shuttle flight.
Vivid q is a lightweight diagnostic ultrasound system about the size of a laptop which is designed for cardiovascular imaging and enables assessment of LV function and cardiac performance.
NASA will use Vivid q on-board ISS as part of its human research program to help assess the impact of long duration microgravity space flight on astronauts.
A European Space Agency experiment – Vascular Echography (Vessel Imaging) will use the device to help evaluate changes in central and peripheral blood vessel wall properties (thickness and compliance) and cross-sectional areas of station astronauts during and after long-term exposure to microgravity.
The Vivid q device will be used for general crew health assessment, and in NASA space research investigations such as Integrated Cardiovascular, which looks at the weakening of heart muscles associated with long-duration spaceflight.
It is also used at the Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) to evaluate the use of Vivid q to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in astronauts.
Vivid q may also be used in NASA’s New Millennium Observatory Network (NeMO Net) extreme mission operation, providing underwater space simulation.
NeMO Net is a near-real-time data communications system which links instruments located in a submarine volcano, one mile underwater and 300 miles offshore of Oregon, to the Internet.