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Surgery without the Weight of the World

Is it possible that one day doctors will perform surgery in space? French physicians seem to think so, as a five-man team operated on a patient in nearly weightless conditions yesterday. The Associated Press reports that the procedure is part of the European Space Agency's project to develop Earth-guided surgical space robots. Lasting eight minutes, doctors removed a cyst from a man in 22-second intervals.

While the concept of space surgery might be exciting to some people, it's way too expensive to justify its use in the future. Aside from the costs to develop the technology, chartering such a flight to perform the procedure would cost the equivalent of nearly $38,000 U.S. dollars, reports the U.K. Times Online.

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