ARED Keeps ISS Astronauts Fit
ISS Commander Chris Hadfield sends us this cool tweet from space, showing off their ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), used to help astronauts maintain their Earthman strength while in space.
('Keep bones dense and muscles strong in space)
A  paper in the Journal of Physiology by Robert Fitts of Marquette University suggests the reduction in the capacity for work after six months in space can exceed 40 percent, which would temporarily reduce the performance of a returning astronaut to that of an 80-year-old. The study suggests more effective exercise techniques are required to keep astronauts in shape during long missions.
Fitts said bed-rest studies show resistive exercise can offset the decline. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station typically spend 45 minutes to an hour or so every day actually exercising, either pedaling a stationary bike, jogging on a treadmill, held down by a harness, or using resistive devices. Counting preparation time, crew members devote two hours a day to getting the required exercise done.
The ARED, one of the latest exercise machines aboard the station, works like a high-tech gym to permit effective weightlifting with up to 600 pounds of load, using flywheels to simulate the inertia weight lifters must overcome.
Science fiction writers have long urged space agencies to think about astronaut fitness on long space voyages. In his 1953 novel Space Tug, Murray Leinster writes about a gravity-simulator harness:
"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)
Heinlein fans recall that in his 1966 novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the loonies heading toward Earth need to start exercising to survive the harsh gravitational field of our planet.
Had to squeeze in hours of heavy exercise, wearing weights, and dasn't arrange permission to use centrifuge at Complex, one used by earthworm scientists to stretch time in Luna...
Exercising without centrifuge is less efficient and was especially boring because did not know there would be a need for it...
Many sf fans also recall the scene in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey in which Frank Poole gets some exercise by jogging within the turning living space of the Discovery space craft.
(Frank Poole goes jogging)
Via Twitter and America Space; thanks to Winchell Chung on Google+ for mentioning ("plussing?") this.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/11/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
The Interplanetary Internet, Vint Cerf Speaking
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'- George O. Smith, 1942.
30-Day Trip To Mars?
'The Federation Ship Champion... made the crossing under Lyle Drive in only nineteen days.'- Robert Heinlein, 1961.
The Atacama Large Millimeter Array - And Fred Hoyle
'Scientifically it would all make a lot more sense in Chile.'- Sir Fred Hoyle, 1973.
Students! NASA's Space Radiation Challenge Is On
'The rocket-water tanks - all around us... that saved us?'- John W. Campbell, 1936.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
MIT Robot Cheetah Video Shows Gait Transition
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'
TrackingPoint Smart Rifle
Not your typical 'smart bullet' approach.
'Hello, Computer!' Google Now Highlighted at IO13
Sky City's 220 Stories Are Go
'It rested among green parklands and... stood in total isolation, a glittering block of whites and flashing windows dotted with colors.'
CARMAT Bioprosthetic Total Human Heart Replacement
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Personal Sniffer Robots
'...The ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound.'
Physical Exam? We've Got Apps
See the future of handheld, personal medical devices.
The Interplanetary Internet, Vint Cerf Speaking
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Drosophila Robotica, The Mechanical Fly
'... the Scarab [flying robot] buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might...'
Robo-Raven Flapping Wing Robot Bird
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Japan's Nursing Home Robot Plan
Let's make the Roujin Z-0001 Robotic Bed!
Samsung Smart TVs With Gesture Control
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Swiss HCPVT Giant Photovoltaic 'Flower'
'...leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector.'
Mini-Livers Made By 3D Printer
Organleggers may experience an employment downturn.
Smartphone Sensor System Tracks Gunfire
'Sound trackers on the roof could zero in on weapons action...'
Bacteria Now Make Biofuel Like Oil
'They have ... germs that eat pretty near anything, and produce oil as a waste product.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories