In 1970, Dr. Raymond Damadian received the first patent for the MRI. In 1977, he built the first MRI machine. MRI machines first became available to health care facilities in the early 1980s. MRIs are now available all over the world.
The University of Saskatchewan recently developed a new MRI scanner small enough to fit on a space station. The machine uses less energy than a traditional MRI machine and would be useful to diagnose the health problems of astronauts while in space.