OLATHE, Kan. —A Kansas City-area company will soon play a key role in SpaceX’s next mission. 

Garmin smartwatches will be used in the upcoming Polaris Dawn spacelift set to launch next month. 

Garmin Fēnix 7 adventure watches will be used to study the impacts of space travel on the human body. Image provided by Garmin.

The Fenix 7 will be used to provide 24/7 insights into the impact of space travel on the human body. During the estimated five day mission, researchers will use the smartwatch to monitor and collect data on crew members’ heart rate, pulse oximetry and sleep patterns.

“Garmin is honored to be a part of this exciting research effort that will advance the understanding of how the human body adapts to the rigors of space flight,” Garmin Vice President of Global Sales Dan Bartel said. “The exceptional battery life of our smartwatches will allow researchers the opportunity to continuously monitor all four crew members while awake and at rest over the five-day mission—with no down time needed to recharge the battery.”     

The four-person space crew will attempt to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown with humans and complete the first-ever commercial spacewalk. The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine will support the biomedical research aboard the Polaris Dawn. 

“The trove of biometric data provided by Garmin fenix smartwatches will allow us to better understand how the body adjusts to being in space,” TRISH Senior Biomedical Engineer Jimmy Wu said. “Once collected, this physiological data will be added to TRISH’s EXPAND database, aiding current and future research to study and understand human health and performance for all future human space exploration missions.”

Polaris Dawn is scheduled to launch from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island,Florida in March.