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ForceShoes, NASA's Exercise Sandals For Astronauts

ForceShoes are NASA's new sandals for exercising astronauts on the International Space Station. The sandals are intended to measure load data as the astronaut does necessary workouts to make sure that essential muscle activity is accomplished.


(NASA exercise sandals)

NASA chose the ForceShoe design because it offers comprehensive data about workouts. Astronauts could have just taken readings from force meters installed on the ARED machines, but having them attached to one’s feet allows for the collection of data along all three axes and can even track how weight is distributed.

Before the ForceShoes become part of the daily routine for NASA astronauts, they will be validated in a series of tests on the ISS.

SF great Murray Leinster was justly famous for his engineering-oriented stories. He wrote about a gravity-simulator harness in his 1953 novel Space Tug:

"When we got back," Joe told Brown, "we were practically invalids. No exercise up here. This time we've brought some harness to wear. We've some for you, too..."

Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses. He showed Brent how they worked. Brown hadn't official instructions to order their use, but Joe put one on himself, set for full Earth-gravity simulation.

He couldn't imitate actual gravity, of course. Only the effect of gravity on one's muscles. There were springs and elastic webbing pulling one's shoulders and feet together, so that it was as much effort to stand extended—with one's legs straight out—as to stand upright on Earth. Joe felt better with a pull on his body. (Read more about Leinster's gravity-simulator harness )

Update 05-May-2021: See this early reference to the idea of sandals for astronauts - the magnetic sandals from Star of Dreams (1941) by Jack Williamson. End update.

Via Geek.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/3/2014)

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