GREENVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- It's an X-ray system that is headed to outer space, thanks to a high-tech southern Indiana company.
In a lab at a company called Techshot, engineers have developed something called the Bone Densitometer. It's about the size of a home microwave oven.
But instead of cooking your dinner, the high-tech device will be the first X-ray system to go aboard the International Space Station, which has been circling the globe for more than a decade.
The Bone Densitometer will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida later this summer.
"Our payload is going to get to the International Space Station on a private commercial vehicle called the SpaceX Dragon," says Techshot vice president for Corporate Advancement Rich Boling.
Techshot received a $3.6 million grant from NASA to develop the product.
Astronauts aboard the Space Station will use it to study bone loss in mice. The study has practical applications to those back on earth. It could lead to new treatments for bone loss for older Americans suffering from osteoporosis.
"So this going to give us both corrective as well as preventative measures for bone loss," says Techshot chief scientist Gene Boland. "And preventative is not something we do well yet in American healthcare."
Techshot is a technology development company in Floyd County that has 25 employees. Ninety percent of its workers are engineers with high-tech skills.
Founded in 1988, the company works with the aerospace, defense, medical device and consumer products industries.
"We've put a number of devices into space for use by researchers, but this will be our first for the International Space Station," said Boling.