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Have you or anyone you know ever had a serious medical problem diagnosed with a CAT Scan or MRI? You quite literally owe a life to the Space Program.

Since my real career is in medical technology, I feel compelled to dispel this misconception. While while the space program drove advances in electronics & computers, which advanced the capabilities of CT (the term CAT has been depreciated for years) and MRI, the space program is not directly responsible for them.

CT scanners are based on x-ray technology, which has been around for over a century. As for the scanning technology behind CT imaging, you probably have more reason to thank the Beatles than the space program. The CT scanner was developed in England by EMI, who made a pile of money to spend on such things from recording the Beatles' music.

MRI technology was demonstrated in the 1950's, before the existence of the space program. It just wasn't applied to medicine until the 1980's.

On the other hand, the space program has had a more direct and significant impact on vital signs monitoring and medical telemetry. The real legacy of the space program is more often the advancement of technology than the creation of it.


In reply to Re^3: The most important near-term goal of a space program: by hangon
in thread The most important near-term goal of a space program: by Petruchio

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