(CNN)A high-pressure ventilator prototype developed by NASA engineers to help coronavirus patients was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, according to NASA.
A ventilator developed by NASA has been approved by the FDA for coronavirus patients
The approval is for use of the ventilator specifically for coronavirus patients under the FDA's ventilator Emergency Use Authorization, established by the agency on March 24.
"This FDA authorization is a key milestone in a process that exemplifies the best of what government can do in a time of crisis," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. "This ventilator is one of countless examples of how taxpayer investments in space exploration -- the skills, expertise and knowledge collected over decades of pushing boundaries and achieving firsts for humanity -- translate into advancements that improve life on Earth."
It's called VITAL, or Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally. The approval comes on the heels of the prototype passing a critical test at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York last week.
"Fighting the virus and treating patients during this unprecedented global pandemic requires innovative approaches and action. It also takes an all-hands-on-deck approach, as demonstrated by the NASA engineers who used their expertise in spacecraft to design a ventilator tailored for very ill coronavirus patients. This example shows what we can do when everyone works together to fight Covid-19," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement.
"We believe today's action will increase availability of these life-saving medical devices," he added. "The FDA will continue to add products to this emergency use authorization, as appropriate, during this pandemic to facilitate an increase in ventilator inventory."
Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena developed the ventilator, which can be built quickly using fewer parts, most of which are available in current supply chains, the agency said. But it won't compete with the existing supply chain for ventilators.