June 07, 2013
1 min read

Heidelberg OCT device launched into space for eye exams of space station crew

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Launched aboard a rocket on June 5, a Spectralis optical coherence tomography imaging device is scheduled to arrive on June 15 at the International Space Station to allow for detailed analyses of the backs of crew members’ eyes, according to a news release.

NASA is using the Spectralis (Heidelberg Engineering) OCT device to study astronauts’ eyes before, during and after space flight because of recent discoveries of ocular changes in astronauts, the release said. The space agency hopes to reduce potential sight-threatening risks that could be associated with long-duration space missions.

NASA tested the Spectralis device by performing zero-gravity tests during parabolic flights last year.

“We were happy to see the Spectralis units fully functional after rocket launch simulation a few months ago, an environment we did not envision when the product was designed,” Gerhard Zinser, MD, managing director of Heidelberg Engineering, said in the release. “We now look forward to the transmission of the first Spectralis images from the ISS to Earth.”