Humanity is moving ever-closer to life among the stars. With space hotels and orbital movie studios in the works, the Space Age has finally begun. However, what happens when someone gets injured in the cosmos? Well, in that occasion, SpaceX will bring in the doctors.
SpaceX and the space doctors
Via Interesting Engineering, SpaceX is partnering with the University of Arizona and Banner Health to train doctors for space surgery. The Elon Musk owned space company is launching the first ever Aerospace Surgery Fellowship this July.
The Aerospace Surgery Fellowship will be hyper-focused on training the first generation of astronaut surgeons. Doctors will be trained to follow standard surgery procedures under the effects of microgravity, which adds an additional hurdle to operations.
The University of Arizona's Health Sciences announced that the Fellowship will ”prepare physicians to work in the commercial aerospace medical field and provide surgical and critical care support in extreme environments”. After all, if you're somehow on holiday in space, having at least one doctor around would be quite handy.
SpaceX is hoping to bring on board a strong team of expert surgeons and physicians to train as space doctors. At the end of their training, these doctors will be able to gain a “board certification in aerospace medicine with the designation as a flight surgeon”.
THE FIRST SPACE SURGERY
The Aerospace Surgery Fellowship will all lead up to the first ever attempted surgery in space. While a date for a space surgery has not been set, former SpaceX medical director Anil Menon claimed that it will definitely happen within the next ten years.
Additionally, Menon hopes that astro-surgeons will be a vital element of the creation of Mars colonies. As SpaceX plans to touch base on Mars in the 2030s, any colonist or researcher will need to have a doctor on hand. (Preferably two, in case something happens to one of them.)
The commercialism of space is certainly an intriguing aspect of humanity’s near future. It will create even more specialised jobs, and possibly lead to humans spending large amounts of time in space. But what else does it offer?