VALO Grand Visits Space
Miles of hiking mountainous terrain. Horse-back travel through the wilderness. A thorough investigation sifting through hours of footage. Not to mention the main event: a space-travelling curing light that remained fully functional after its perilous flight.
In May of 2019, exactly 10 years after the VALO curing light line’s debut, Ultradent celebrated its anniversary by launching a VALO Grand dental curing light into space to 100,000 feet of altitude.
Up went the cargo—consisting of a Styrofoam box, 4 GoPro cameras to record the flight, the VALO Grand curing light, and a bobblehead of Ultradent founder and CEO Dr. Dan Fischer—and the Ultradent crew used the pings of their phones and laptops to track the curing light’s journey.
What was expected to be a short flight of a few hours became a 126-day adventure.
Although the VALO light was expected to land at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, it veered off course and ended up in the middle of the Uintas Wilderness Area near the second highest peak in Utah.
The Ultradent team—including Mike Simmons, architect of the VALO Light to Space initiative, and Oliver Brown, brand manager of the VALO curing light line—wasn’t deterred by this setback. Instead, determined to retrieve the curing light, they regrouped in August and trekked through the Uintas backcountry. After a tiresome search in some unideal weather, they located the payload on a loose shale—minus the VALO light.
Fortunately, the GoPros were all intact, each providing clues to where the missing curing light might have landed. Once discovering from the footage that the VALO light detached when the payload touched down, they returned to the landing site.
Not only did they finally spot the VALO light on their hike, but the moment Brown put the batteries in, it gave off a resounding "beep", confirming its survival against the elements.
As a result of this triumph, in November, Ultradent announced a global warranty extension of five years on all VALO dental curing lights. Neil Jessop, Ultradent Vice President of Research and Development, accredited the manufacturer's focus on producing sturdy, predictable lights that set the industry standard.
To read the full story on the VALO curing light’s journey to space, including images from the Ultradent team’s travels, click here.