The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which manages NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), is offering a free license for the VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally) ventilator to commercial medical manufacturers.
According to a statement by NASA Chief Jim Bridensitine “This FDA authorization is a key milestone in a process that exemplifies the best of what government can do in a time of crisis. This ventilator is one of countless examples of how taxpayer investments in space exploration — the skills, expertise and knowledge collected over decades of pushing boundaries and achieving firsts for humanity — translate into advancements that improve life on Earth.”
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 30, 2020
Engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab actually got together to help create this design which was completed in an astonishing 37 days. One of the benefits that come from using NASA’s design is the fact that it uses fewer parts when compared to conventional ventilators, and can be modified for use in the field hospitals.
“VITAL poses several benefits in the national response to COVID-19,” NASA officials said in the statement. “It can be built faster and maintained more easily than a traditional ventilator, and is composed of far fewer parts, many of which are currently available to potential manufacturers through existing supply chains.”
It must be stressed that the VITAL ventilator is not meant to replace dedicated hospital ventilators, which are built to last for years. VITAL has been designed to last for only 3 to 4 months.
Take a look at what went into building the VITAL ventilator below.
Image: Twitter/ NASA JPL