Spaceflight Harmful to Astronauts; New Exercise Techniques Examined
April 10, 2009 8:12 AM
comment(s) - last by
Normal muscle fibers in the top picture, and muscle fibers from an astronaut who spent time in space in the second picture
NASA and university researchers look for new ways to keep astronauts healthy in space
A study recently published in The Journal of Applied Physiology indicates astronauts launched into orbit must alter their physical workout regime so they can reduce the amount of muscle loss while in space.
Astronauts normally stay aboard the
International Space Station (ISS)
for six-month durations, and NASA continues to look for ways astronauts can maintain their cardiovascular system, along with bone and skeletal muscles.
Despite exercise while in space, astronauts still lost 15 percent of their muscle mass and around 20 to 30 percent of muscle performance loss after long durations in space, according to research done by NASA, HPL, and the Marquette University bioscience department.
"By clinical standards,
this is a massive loss
," Ball State University Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) director Scott Trappe recently said. "This approaches what we see in aging populations in comparisons of a 20-year-old versus an 80-year-old. This poses risks to the crewmembers and could have a dramatic impact on locomotion and overall health, which would impact a variety of crewmembers' activities including future goals of planetary exploration."
Researchers gathered information about astronauts' muscle characteristics by using MRIs and muscle biopsies both before and after long duration stays in space. Previous research indicates astronauts also have issues with the density and strength of their bones after returning to Earth from the ISS.
Even though working in zero gravity for such long durations is detrimental to the human body, researchers are coming up with methods to help astronauts.
"From our bed rest studies, we found that when high-intensity resistance and aerobic exercise are balanced correctly, this is an effective prescription that is quite therapeutic in protecting skeletal muscles in a simulated microgravity environment. The next step is to apply what we have learned from the ISS experience and implement the next generation of exercise prescription programs into the space environment. Intensity wins, hands down."
Each astronaut stationed to the ISS now can make use of the Advanced Resistance Exercise Device (ARED), with doctors creating custom workout plans depending on the astronaut.
Since these are serious medical issues, expect more research to be done involving
long-term space deployments
, and how NASA and other space agencies can better prepare astronauts. Several prominent space programs have plans to send astronauts to the moon and eventually to Mars, which will again put a strong focus on astronaut health while in space.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: If spinning can produce artifical gravity..
4/10/2009 2:00:21 PM
With a faster rate of spin you have problems with vertigo. If you face the direction of spin then turn your head 90 degrees you are going to get disoriented.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Stephen Colbert Wants "Democracy in Orbit"
April 8, 2009, 8:46 AM
British Breakthrough Makes Manned Mars Mission Safer
November 5, 2008, 7:02 AM
Smartphone STD Scanner Dongle Can Detect HIV in Just 15 Minutes
February 26, 2015, 11:04 AM
Bill Gates Plugs GMOs to Reduce Starvation in Africa
February 24, 2015, 10:12 PM
Cool Nature Video: Crazy Coconut Octopus Braves Dry Land to Capture Crab
February 24, 2015, 4:18 PM
MIT Creates Injectable Self-Healing Nanoparticle Hydrogel for Cancer Treatment
February 23, 2015, 9:37 AM
Amp EVs' Workhorse and HorseFly Duo Challenge Amazon to Delivery Drone Duel
February 20, 2015, 3:56 AM
DARPA Awards Boeing Contract to Test Jet Based Satellite Launches
February 19, 2015, 11:30 AM
Most Popular Articles
Modern Glass (Windows 7 Aero Glass + Modern UI) Style is Coming to Windows 10
February 19, 2015, 1:05 PM
Amid Tight Race w/ Evernote, Microsoft's OneNote Goes (Even More) Free, Adds Fresh Features
February 23, 2015, 11:15 AM
Quick Note: Microsoft Gives Dropbox Users Extra 100 GB of Free OneDrive Storage
February 20, 2015, 9:48 AM
EDITORIAL: Board Wants to Anoint America World Police w/ Global Warrant Power
February 20, 2015, 9:10 AM
NVIDIA Bows to Outraged Overclockers, Will Restore Feature in Upcoming Driver
February 23, 2015, 12:30 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information