Astrosurgery: Surgical Capabilities for Exploration Spaceflight



Health and Body


University of Louisville


Researchers: George Pantalos, Audrey Riggs, and Justin Heidel

Anticipated space exploration missions to the moon and Mars will require unique healthcare solutions. The ability to surgically treat trauma and other disorders in reduced gravity requires reliable wound containment. The University of Louisville Astrosurgery Project (in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University) is using parabolic (0-G) flight and suborbital space flight testing of an aqueous immersion surgical system (AISS) to achieve reliable wound containment for surgical treatment. The AISS is a clear chamber attached to the skin that is filled with an immersion fluid (e.g, saline) to control bleeding, cleanse the wound, and maintain a clear visual field during surgical treatment. The AISS dome incorporates leak-free ports (patent pending) to insert endoscopic surgical instruments to perform the needed surgical tasks. The new surgical technology and space flight payload used for parabolic and suborbital space flight tests will be displayed along with photos and video of weightless evaluation of the AISS.