With the expectation of increased duration of extraterrestrial travel to the planet Mars, the need for medical and surgical care will likely increase. If an injury occurs, surgical techniques for rapid hemostasis and tissue closure should be developed. A mission to Mars will preclude the return of a crew member to earth for treatment. A contingency evacuation plan is not possible. There is no possibility for real-time consultation with an Earth-based expert. When performing surgery in microgravity, all fluids, blood, and surgical materials should be contained so as not to contaminate the space craft. Moreover, a sterile environment should be maintained.
The principal investigator has developed and tested a surgical isolation chamber in conditions of weightlessness. Long duration space travel to Mars will require modifications to the Surgical Isolation Containment System to meet the requirements for weight and size. In partnership with the UAE Space Agency, NASA-USA, Khalifa University Aerospace Research and Innovation Center, and the Khalifa Department of Mechanical Engineering, additional refinements and internal design modifications of the Surgical Isolation Containment System will be developed and tested.
The goal of this project is to deliver a functional Surgical Isolation Chamber with surgical instrumentation that meet weight and size requirements for long duration space flight and for the surgical requirements for the repair of a laceration or penetrating injury to the extremities in conditions of weightlessness.