WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

Global benefit (Video)
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Three, Two, One

Project Stages

1st Step: Selection

The journey began on 27 November 2022, when the SpaceDent project proposal was submitted. At the beginning, two selection stages, Shortlisting announcement and Selection meeting, were completed before, on 27 January 2023,  the final Selection announcement was declared. Our proposal was ACCEPTED!!! Now, experiment will go through several stages of development before its final parabolic flight crescendo, where data will be collected, analyzed and shared.

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Project Stages

1st Step: Selection

SpaceDent project will go through several stages of development ahead of the final parabolic flight crescendo, where data can be collected, analysed and shared before its completion on 27.11.2023. At the beginning, two selection stages, Shortlisting announcement and Selection meetings with Selection committee, must be successfully completed before the final Selection announcement will be declared.
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2nd step: Design

In the project's early stages, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering students played a central role in SpaceDent's heroic endeavor. Guided by expert advice from ESA and NoveSpace professionals, students successfully navigated the Preliminary and Critical Design stages and ensured that the final design aligns with experiment goals and meets all parabolic flight strict safety standards.

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2nd step: Design

In the initial stage of development, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering students will play a central role in SpaceDent's heroic endeavor. Following expert advice from ESA engineers will help them to complete Preliminary Design Review and Critical Design Review stages, and conceptualise the ideas to a final design, that will satisfy all experiment goals and parabolic flight safety standards from NoveSpace.
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3rd step: Assemble and Verify

Successfully reached milestones and an agreed-upon final design will give the SpaceDent team the motivation to occupy a workshop and actualize their ideas into reality. Tools will be provided, materials grinded, bolts tightened. The structure will be assembled and made ready for the testing phase, where all requirements will be met.

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3rd step: Assemble and Verify

Successfully reached milestones and an agreed upon final design will give SpaceDent team motivation, to occupy a workshop and actualize their ideas into reality. Tools will be provided, materials grinded, bolts tightened and the construction assembled and made ready for a testing phase, where all requirements will be meet.
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FINAL STEP: PERFORM AND COMMUNICATE

The highlight of our project took place between 20th of November and 1st of December, when the A310 Zero-G plane took off from Bordeaux, France. Two dental medicine students performed dental procedures during a parabolic flight over the Atlantic Ocean. Three parabolic flights, 93 parabolas and 30 minutes of micro-gravity later, the experiment was completed.

Results will be analyzed and shared. The project is going to be a success! The results will provide valuable information for the advancement of space dentistry and astronauts’ oral health in the vastness of everlasting space.

Time until the Final Results

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Final step: Perform and Communicate

On a sunny October morning of 2023, SpaceDent team, after Fall exame period under its belt, will be on its way to Bordeaux, France, where they will meet NovaSpace team and AirZeroG plane. Following Novaspace strict safety requirements, the experiment rack will be secured to the plane, tested and declared experiment ready. Over the following week, three flight days, 93 parabolas and 30 minutes of weightlessness later, the results are going to be collected, carefully analysed and shared with the world. The project is going to ba a success! SpaceDent team is going to provide valuable information that will help to prepare Dental medicine for multi-planetary civilization and keep astronauts safe and healthy in the vastness of everlasting space.

Time until the first parabola

Showtime!
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MULTI-DISCIPLINARY COOPERATION

Dental Medicine

Dental Medicine students are going to perform the experiment in microgravity, analyse, and communicate the results.

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Mechanical Engineering students will build the experiment and make it ready for parabolic flight campaign.

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

Electrical Engineering students will make sure all systems are operational and experiment data is captured correctly.

WE WILL ENSURE THAT ASTRONAUTS GOING TO MOON AND MARS WILL RETURN WITH A HEALTHY SMILE ON THEIR FACE.

Project goals

SpaceDent's findings will serve as the basis for evaluation and optimization of dental procedures for reliable dental treatment in space.

Doctor - Patient Positions

To assess how micro-gravity environment influences doctor-patient position and optimize it.

Dental drilling

To test if dental handpiece handling is controlled enough to provide safe caries treatment in space.

Dental filling placement

To test if dental tools handling is controlled enough to allow accurate filling placement in space.

Subjective experience

To compare subjective experience between dental procedures in microgravity and 1g environment.

Protocols Adaptation

To make dental procedures easy for astronauts to handle.

Tool Optimization

To assess how dental tools can be optimized for better safety, effectiveness and use.

Dental medicine in space

Long-term missions to the Moon and Mars require 18-24 months of isolation and exposure to microgravity, which could have deleterious effects on human physiology, including oral health. Dental problems could risk the mission's success, with relevant associated economic and strategic costs. To mitigate this risk, development of dental equipment, adoption of specific preventive measures, and training the astronauts will be necessary. 

Teledentistry

Teledentistry will be used to monitor oral health during long-term missions to Moon and Mars.

Diagnostics

Oral diagnostic will provide a non-evasive and economically viable way to monitor systemic well-being of astronauts.

Personalization

Advances in personalization of dental treatment in space are directly applicable to the optimization of treatment on Earth.

Optimization

Due to lack of space and resources miniaturization and optimization of dental infrastructure will be needed.

Regenerative Dentistry

Rapid advancements in dental regeneration will provide new possibilities to treat oral diseases in a superior way.

Materials

Dental materials will be 3D printed from regolith, a layer of loose rock resting on the surface of planets and moons.

Latest news

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RTV SLO 1: Zobozdravstvo v vesolju

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RTV SLO Podkast: Novo delovno mesto: vesoljski zobozdravnik

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Delo: Zobna ordinacija na Marsu

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RTV SLO Radio: Ekipa SpaceDent se je vrnila iz Francije!

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Meet the team: SpaceDent

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Thank you

For your support

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ESA and UNIVERSITY Associates

European Space Agency (ESA)

Mr. Nigel Savage, PhD

Mr. Felix Scharnhölz

Novespace

Mrs. Alexandra Jaquemet

Department of Dental Medicine

prof. Aleš Fidler, PhD

Vice-Dean prof. Janja Jan, PhD

Faculty of Medicine

Dean prof. Igor Švab, PhD

Vice-Dean prof. Ksenija Geršak, PhD

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

assist. prof. Simon Oman, PhD

Vice-Dean prof. Jernej Klemenc, PhD

assoc. prof. Domen Šeruga, PhD

assist. Aleš Gosar, PhD

European Space Agency (ESA)

Mr. Nigel Savage, PhD

Mr. Felix Scharnhölz

Novespace

Mrs. Alexandra Jaquemet

Department of Dental Medicine

prof. Aleš Fidler, PhD

Vice-Dean prof. Janja Jan, PhD

Faculty of Medicine

Dean prof. Igor Švab, PhD

Vice-Dean prof. Ksenija Geršak, PhD

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

assist. prof. Simon Oman, PhD

Vice-Dean prof. Jernej Klemenc, PhD

assoc. prof. Domen Šeruga, PhD

assist. Aleš Gosar, PhD