22 February 2012

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire and Vital Space Team Up for Biometric Monitoring Flights


February 22, 2012

Astronauts4Hire and Vital Space Team Up for Biometric Monitoring Flights

Tampa, Florida – Astronauts4Hire and partner company Vital Space will test a new biometric monitoring system designed for use by spaceflight participants on a May 2012 reduced gravity parabolic flight campaign in Houston, Texas. They will undergo up to four flights with 40 parabolas each granting 25 seconds of near zero-gravity. The project is facilitated by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, to which Vital Space and Astronauts4Hire submitted a successful joint proposal chosen by NASA in October 2011 titled, "A demonstrated application of a cost effective and novel platform for non-invasive acquisition of physiologic variables from spaceflight participant candidates."

"The growth of suborbital spaceflight reflects a unique opportunity to capture and quantify the physiologic variables related to human performance in demanding environments," said Vital Space President and project Principal Investigator Dr. Ravi Komatireddy. "Given recent advancements in wireless medical devices, real time acquisition and monitoring of physiologic data is now possible. We are proud to be working with Astronauts4Hire to test the ViSi MobileTM Monitoring Platform for use by spaceflight participants."

The ViSi MobileTM System from Sotera Wireless has the capability to reliably capture critical physiological metrics such as continuous noninvasive blood pressure, arterial oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature and multi-lead electrocardiogram. Additional data from integrated accelerometers and a display will be used to remotely view, control, and assess physiologic response.

The upcoming initial parabolic flight tests will be used to collect performance and operational data on Astronauts4Hire research subjects, under direct supervision of members of the Vital Space team. The data will aid in the assessment of preflight fitness, in-flight physiological dynamics, and post-flight physiological recovery for spaceflight participants.

The May 2012 flights will be Astronauts4Hire's second microgravity research project. In February 2011, Astronauts4Hire carried out its first research flight with Vostok Pty Ltd to investigate the effects of alcohol absorption in microgravity.

About Astronauts4Hire:
Astronauts for Hire, Inc. (A4H) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose objectives are to provide opportunities for students and professionals to develop and refine the skills necessary to become commercial astronauts and to assist these qualified candidates with networking opportunities in the space research community. A4H's commercial astronaut candidates are accomplished scientists and engineers who can support a wide variety of payloads. They are available today for contract and consulting work with researchers to design and conduct experiments on microgravity, suborbital, and orbital missions. For more information, please visit www.Astronauts4Hire.org or contact Public Relations Officer Ben Corbin at media[at]astronauts4hire.org or at (850) 685-2218.

About Vital Space:
Vital Space is a new space startup that aims to apply state of the art mobile health technology, analytics, and multidisciplinary clinical expertise to capture human performance during aerospace training and flight. The physiologic data captured from clients will be used to validate health technology, provide clients with tools to visualize and enrich their flight experience, and further research by helping to create medical risk models for commercial spaceflight. Additionally, information regarding human performance and medical device technology will be explored for potential utility in clinical medicine and research. The upcoming parabolic flight will serve as the first opportunity to test an innovative medical device on commercial spaceflight candidates. Vital Space is working in cooperation with the Silicon Valley Space Center. For more information contact Ravi Komatireddy at ravikomatireddy1[at]gmail.com or Sean Casey at sean.casey[at]siliconvalleyspacecenter.org.

About Sotera Wireless:
Sotera Wireless, Inc. is a San Diego based medical device company dedicated to development, marketing and sale of a new generation of comprehensive vital signs monitoring. Sotera is the ancient Greek term for savior: Sotera’s mission is to improve patient safety by empowering clinicians to detect signs of deterioration in virtually any care setting and enable early intervention and rapid response,without limiting the patient’s freedom of movement. The company’s first product, the ViSi MobileTM System is currently under Federal Drug Administration (FDA) review. More information on this product and Sotera Wireless can be obtained at www.soterawireless.com or by sending an email to info[at]soterawireless.com.

About NASA Flight Opportunities Program:
The NASA Flight Opportunities Program intends to mature to flight readiness status crosscutting technologies that advance multiple future space missions. It provides frequent flight opportunities to demonstrate and develop technology payloads on both parabolic aircraft and suborbital reusable launch vehicles for reduced gravity or near-space flights. Flight Opportunities is part of the Space Technology Program within NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist and is managed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA. NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA manages the payload activities for the program. For more information, please visit www.flightopportunities.nasa.gov. The October 2011 NASA press release announcing the Vital Space flight opportunity is available at http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/oct/HQ_11-331_CCC_Payload.txt.

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