Photo: Techshot, Inc. Known as the Bone Densitometer, the device will be used by astronauts to study bone loss in mice.

Photo: Techshot, Inc.
Known as the Bone Densitometer, the device will be used by astronauts to study bone loss in mice.

A southern Indiana company is sending a medical X-ray system into space.

The Greenville-based company Techshot is sending the device to the International Space Station.

It’s the first X-ray system to be sent to the space station and astronauts there will use the system to study bone loss in mice, hoping to help millions of older Americans who suffer from osteoporosis.

Techshot Vice President for Corporate Advancement Rich Boling says, with the absence of gravity, astronauts lose between one and two percent of their total bone mass for every consecutive month spent living in space.

“By studying the mice in space, it just gives us a way that you cannot reproduce on the ground to really accelerate that aging and that bone demineralization process,” he says.

Besides, Boling says this payload is different with previous ones they have developed which would come back to earth with samples after a couple of weeks.

“In this case, this payload will remain on board indefinitely as a tool for use by other researchers, other investigators from NASA, or universities can propose to conduct researches with it as a permanent resource aboard the Station,” Boling says.

The device is expected to launch to the station aboard a commercial SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft in August.

Read More On Indiana Public Media:http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/indiana-company-sending-bone-densitometer-space-68068/