Heidelberg Engineering have really seen sales rocket sky high, after providing a Spectralis OCT ophthalmic imaging device to NASA which is now orbiting the earth aboard the International Space Station.The sales came as part of an intense NASA program that will monitor and report on the ocular changes in astronauts after long space duration flights. The device has been used since its inaugural space flight to join the ISS, to record the astronauts from pre-launch, throughout their space term and then post flight, to mitigate potential threats to sight.Since June, researchers at Nasa in Houston, have used one of the imaging devices to conduct baseline examinations of the space stations crew.The device will take a high definition image of the fundus of the eye using a cross sectional OCT image of the retina. Examinations can be done on earth as well as aboard the space station. The tracking device allows for the exam to be repeated on the same anatomical location of the retina to monitor the eye over a period of time.For a device that was designed only for use on earth, it underwent some rigorous pre -flight testing to ensure it stood up to the demands of a space flight in zero gravity.After a full rocket launch simulation, it was functioning as designed.
Earth now patiently await the first images to be sent from the International Space Station.