Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation certifies LADARVision 4000 as space technology improving life on Earth

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 22, 2004) — The LADARVision(R) 4000 System, manufactured and marketed by Alcon, Inc. (NYSE: ACL), has been officially recognized as a Certified Space Technology, the only laser eye surgery system in the world to receive such recognition. The Space Foundation, in cooperation with NASA, established the Space Certification Program and the Space Technology Hall of Fame to recognize innovators who transform technology originally developed for space use into commercial products, to increase public awareness of the benefits of space transfer technology, and to encourage further innovation. For more than 40 years, the world’s best engineers have bred a host of advanced technologies that have fueled America’s efforts in space and resulted in a number of earthly applications as well. Now, qualified products and services incorporating those technologies can be officially tied to U.S. space efforts, including the LADARVision(R) System. LADARVision(R) tracking technology was originally developed in a joint effort between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense’s Ballistic Missile Defense Office for docking satellites and spacecraft. The U.S. military, in developing target tracking and weapons firing control, also used this specialized technology. Alcon then developed it commercially through NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research program. This work in the area of pointing and scanning laser beams led to the LADARVision(R) eye surgery system. When a surgeon uses the LADARVision(R) System, the doctor sees an image just like one that a fighter pilot would see as he tracks a target. The doctor uses the image to track involuntary eye movements during LASIK surgery at a rate of 4,000 per second, 15 times faster than any other LASIK system used today. “By offering LADARVision(R) customers worldwide the ability to incorporate this program into their practice, we want to reiterate to patients that Alcon, and our customers, are dedicated to the best in technology,” said Bill Barton, Vice President and General Manager, Alcon Surgical Division. “Alcon has been awarded the Certified Space Technology seal because they have effectively applied space based technology to help people around the world hold on to one of the most precious gifts we enjoy, the gift of sight,” said Kevin C. Cook, Space Foundation Director of Space Awareness Programs. “LADARVision(R) helps improve the quality of life here on Earth in a very real way.” LADARVision(R) was also inducted into the Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame earlier this year. About Alcon
Alcon, Inc. is the world’s leading eye care company. Alcon, which has been dedicated to the ophthalmic industry for more than 50 years, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contact lens solutions and other vision care products that treat diseases, disorders and other conditions of the eye. For more information, contact Doug MacHatton in investor relations at 1-800-400-8599 or visit About The Space Foundation
Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Space Foundation is a non-profit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Space Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C. and Cape Canaveral, Fla. For more information about the Space Foundation, the Space Technology Hall of Fame and the Space Certification Program visit