Garmin Fenix 7 watches will track astronauts' health in space

Garmin Fenix 7 watch on woman's wrist
(Image credit: Future)

Astronauts on the upcoming Polaris space program will be heading into orbit sporting Garmin Fenix 7 watches to monitor the effects of the five-day expedition on their bodies.

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.

Cat Ellis

Cat is Homes Editor at TechRadar and former editor of Advnture. She's been a journalist for 15 years, and cut her teeth on magazines before moving online. She helps readers choose the right tech for their home, get the best deals, and do more with their new devices.