The GPS watches will be used to keep tabs on the four crew members 24 hours a day, and the data will be analyzed by researchers back at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Heart rate, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), and sleep patterns will all be tracked to give an insight into the effect of space travel on the human body.
Although the Fenix 7's GPS tracking won't be much use in orbit, its battery shouldn't need charging after takeoff. Garmin's figures state that it should run for up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, and when I tested the Fenix 7S, I found that it retained over 60% charge after a week despite having a smaller battery than the standard size model.
Adjusting to space
Once collected, data from the watches will be added to a database compiled by the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH), which contains pre- during- and post-flight stats from commercial spaceflight
“The trove of biometric data provided by Garmin Fenix smartwatches will allow us to better understand how the body adjusts to being in space,” explained Jimmy Wu, TRISH senior biomedical engineer.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Polaris Dawn crew from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, later this year.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.