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The Exploration Medical Integrated Product Team (XMIPT) at NASA is seeking novel technologies to enable existing and future low mass/volume compact Radiography devices for medical imaging and diagnosis of medical conditions on extended duration spaceflight.


Exploration missions to Mars pose higher medical risks due to longer durations and environmental exposures. The crew’s medical care needs will be more complex and challenging due to communication delays and increased autonomy. It is crucial to develop technologies that offer advanced diagnostic, imaging, and treatment capabilities while minimizing mass, volume, and power requirements. Radiography (X-Ray) plays a vital role in diagnosing and treating a broad range of conditions, reducing health and operational risks. However, current clinical X-ray devices are heavy and bulky. To address vehicle/habitat mass and volume constraints, a compact X-ray device for medical imaging is necessary for Mars missions. Additionally, advanced image acquisition and interpretation tools help to reduce dependence on ground teams and expedite medical care.

Critical System Features

  • Imaging capabilities include but are not limited to the following: Dental, extremities, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvic, head/neck, and breast.
  • Purposes of imaging include but are not limited to the following: placement of tubes/lines/drains, fractures/dislocations, foreign body, pulmonary infection, kidney stones, fluid in abdomen, and air in soft tissue.
  • Low mass and volume.
  • Minimal vehicle/habitat modifications for safety (e.g. minimizes or eliminates need for lead-lined rooms or lead aprons)


Other Desired System Features

  • FDA and/or CE approval
  • Certified and tested for military/austere, radiation, and aviation environments.
  • Exhibits software/data interoperability
  • Requires minimal training for use and/or features just-in-time training, guidance,
    and interpretation aids.
  • Open to both commercialized and early-stage technologies


Possible Solution Areas Include (but are not limited to)

  • Portable X-ray device
  • Compact X-ray component and radiation source
  • AI-powered imaging or interpretation technology


Desired outcome of the solution

Open to a range of potential solutions including acquiring a commercially available unit or partnering to develop a customized technology.


Related Tech Needs:


Image Created with Midjourney

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