University of Nebraska-Lincoln Engineers Utilize Rubber Bands in Preparation for Deep Space Travel
A surgery-performing robot called MIRA, short for “miniaturized in-vivo robotic assistant” has been in the works for almost 20 years. The minimally invasive medical robot can be operated remotely – making surgery accessible during long-duration space travel. Something that NASA plans to focus on in the coming years.
To help further these efforts, NASA recently awarded $100,000 to the team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to prepare MIRA for a 2024 test mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). During the in-orbit experiment, MIRA will be stored in an experiment locker (about the size of a microwave) where it will cut stretched rubber bands and push metal rings together in gestures that simulate surgery.
Just another way rubber bands are doing their part to help NASA solve tough problems. Check out the “Famous Rubber Bands” section on Rubber Band University to learn about another tough problem in outer space that was solved by this glorious invention!