Baird Capital portfolio company Virtual Incision this week announced that its MIRA® Platform will test its skills in space on a 2024 technology demonstration mission aboard the International Space Station thanks to a recently awarded grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). MIRA is a first-of-its-kind miniaturized surgical robotic support device, focusing first on colon resection, with follow-on specialty robots for additional potential applications.

In April, following FDA approval, Virtual Incision announced the final stage of its clinical study analyzing the MIRA® Platform in bowel resection procedures. Weighing approximately 2 pounds, its small size makes it appealing to surgeons and hospital staff and makes it ideal for use within the tight space and mass requirements of a long-duration space mission. Once aboard, MIRA will operate inside a microwave-oven-sized experiment locker and perform activities that simulate those used in surgery, such as cutting simulated tissue and manipulating small objects.

“NASA has ambitious plans for long-duration space travel, and it’s important to test the capabilities of technology that may be beneficial during missions measured in months and years,” said Shane Farritor, co-founder and chief technology officer at Virtual Incision. “MIRA continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in RAS, and we are pleased with its performance so far during clinical trials. We’re excited to take it a step further and help identify what could be possible in the future as space travel is becoming more of a reality for mankind.”

The Venture Capital team initially invested in Virtual Incision in December 2021.