Garmin sports watches will be blasting into space, after being chosen to track astronauts’ health and vitals during the upcoming Polaris Dawn mission.
Polaris Dawn is a five-day expedition to the far reaches of Earth’s orbit, using SpaceX rockets and carrying private citizens. At 1,400km it's the furthest orbit ever recorded by a manned mission. The crew will test SpaceX StarLink equipment and conduct a series of experiments, and it seems the Garmin Fenix 7 will be part of that.
The Fenix 7 will keep tabs on each crew member’s health stats and vitals during the expedition, including during the first-ever commercial space walk.
The Fenix data will be used by the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH).
“The trove of biometric data provided by Garmin Fenix smartwatches will allow us to better understand how the body adjusts to being in space,” said Jimmy Wu, TRISH senior biomedical engineer.
“Once collected, this physiological data will be added to TRISH’s EXPAND database, aiding current and future research to study and understand human health and performance for all future human space exploration missions.”
The Garmin Fenix 7 has plenty of battery life so it won’t need to be charged for the mission – and keeps tabs on heart rate, sleep quality, stress levels, and other data.
It's not the first time that space travel and smartwatches have come up this year.
The Citizen CZ Watch second generation, which was announced at CES 2023, uses features developed by NASA to ascertain astronauts’ levels of awareness.
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