Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy had a Tricorder device that was able to diagnose almost any physical condition. It may not yet appear in your doctor’s office, but NASA is working on a device that may be able to discern what’s bugging you:
“Ultimately we want to provide cartridges for all kinds of micro-organisms and chemical compounds,” says Morris. “We’d even like to be able to use our system to figure out what ‘bug’ an astronaut has if he or she becomes ill.”
Lisa Monaco, LOCAD project scientist, adds her vision of the future: “What we are developing at MSFC has use not only on the ISS, but also on lunar missions, long duration stays on other planets, and most certainly here on Earth.”
In the years ahead, as space voyages become longer and longer, it will be even more imperative to have ways of checking astronauts’ health and monitoring electronics. For the record, no astronaut has ever become seriously ill on any space mission. However, the scientists point out that if an astronaut did ever get sick, it would take too much time to send a sample back to Earth, have it tested, and receive a long-distance answer. With next-generation LOCAD technologies, detection and diagnosis would be quick, easy, and on the spot.
Dr. McCoy, here we come.
Just one of those cool things going on at NASA.
Read the whole article for the current state of the project.