Virgin Galactic has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to develop and manufacture a hood for COVID-19 patients at its Mojave facility.
The agreement outlines Virgin Galactic’s commitment to developing innovative products to solve problems faced by health care workers on the frontlines.
“This is our way of ensuring that the best and brightest at Virgin Galactic can support their local communities during this challenging time and provide life-saving solutions for those suffering from COVID-19,” Chief Executive George Whitesides said in the statement.
Employees from Virgin Galactic and its subsidiary The Spaceship Co. worked last week on the development and testing of the PPB Hood – a device designed to support those admitted with COVID-19 with portable oxygen-rich pressure chambers, reducing the subsequent need for ventilator intubation, according to the statement.
Virgin Galactic is on track to produce 400 of the hoods on a specially constructed assembly line at its Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar in Mojave, Whitesides said.
“The assembly line itself is a landmark effort, made up of 12 workstations, each hosting a step in the hood fabrication process, and manned by a member of a 20-strong volunteer team made up of NASA Armstrong (Flight Research Center) and (Spaceship Co.) employees,” he added in the statement.
The company will provide the hoods to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster and is also working on a test program with Bartlett Community Hospital in Juneau, Alaska.