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Wire Festival

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Astrosurgery (AKA Surgery in

University of Louisville

NASA will soon attempt to send astronauts back to the moon and eventually to Mars and beyond. The trip to Mars will be approximately nine months and there is an inevitability of a health-related incident (cut requiring stitches, appendix rupture, etc.) during this trip. Surgical treatment of these types of trauma and other disorders in reduced gravity (i.e., during the weightlessness experienced by crewmembers on one of these long-range space missions) will require reliable wound containment. On earth, bleeding can be easily contained, but in a microgravity environment, bleeding can potentially create a hazardous situation since the blood could float anywhere and contaminate the spacecraft. We are trying to solve this problem by developing a wound management system to both contain and isolate the bleeding while providing access to the wound for suturing, etc. The heart of our “Aqueous Immersion Surgical System” (AISS) is a clear, rigid chamber attached to the skin over a surgical site that is filled with an immersion fluid (e.g., saline). The rest of the system redirects the fluid to control bleeding, cleanse the wound, and maintain a clear visual field. The system was evaluated in May 2021 as an automated, suborbital experimental payload onboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.


  • George Pantalo
  • Paul DeMarco
  • Kessalyn Kelly
  • Tommy Roussel
  • Sienna Shacklette
  • Dalton Aubrey
  • George Pantalos
  • Carl White