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"Science fiction is the very literature of change. In fact, it is the only such literature we have."
- Frederik Pohl

Gravity-Simulator Harness  
  Device that simulates gravity's effect on muscles to keep in shape while in space.  

Lots of physiological changes occur in zero gravity. The pull of gravity on Earth provides a resistive force that automatically maintains muscles and bones. Perhaps some sort of device would help you maintain muscle tone?

"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.

Brent was upset when he found that to him more than a tenth of normal gravity was unbearable. But he kept it on at that. If he increased the pull a very little every day, he might be able to return to Earth, in time. Now it would be a very dangerous business indeed. He went off to put the other members of the crew in the same sort of harness.

From Space Tug, by Murray Leinster.
Published by Not known in 1953
Additional resources -

I know that NASA worked on devices to keep astronauts in shape in the early 1970's on Skylab. I'm sure the Russians had their own version for their cosmonauts.

Studies have shown that astronauts regain lost blood volume within a few days; muscle mass can be recouped within a month or so. It may take a day on Earth for every day in space for full recovery of muscle function. Some changes, like bone mass loss, may never fully return.

Read more about The Zero G Battle: How Astronauts and Cosmonauts Cope

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Space Tug
  More Ideas and Technology by Murray Leinster
  Tech news articles related to Space Tug
  Tech news articles related to works by Murray Leinster

Gravity-Simulator Harness-related news articles:
  - COLBERT Treadmill Long SF History
  - Adaptability Training System Helps Space Travelers Return
  - ARED Keeps ISS Astronauts Fit
  - ForceShoes, NASA's Exercise Sandals For Astronauts

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