The Medtronic Micra is the smallest pacemaker currently available. It’s so small that it’s delivered via a catheter and attached to the endocardium of the heart, where its internal battery paces the heart for years. It’s certainly an incredible piece of technology, but a high school student had a wild idea of testing whether such a fine piece of electronics can withstand a flight into space.
Thankfully NASA has a sounding rocket program that flies small experiments to a high altitude but still below orbit, allowing all sorts of things to be tested. The Micra flew on a 36-foot long Terrier-Improved Orion rocket and reached 73 miles above Earth during a 13 minute flight.
Following the mission, the device was run through a regular series of tests all of which checked out. More tests are still going to be conducted to see if there was any damage to the Micra during flight.