Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NASA Exercise Study for Men

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Astronauts exercise on the ISS treadmill to keep their muscles and bones healthy; on the ground, "flight analog" testers use similar equipment so medical scientists can measure cardiovascular fitness. How do they simulate weightlessness? By going vertical! Some of you remember this as the "COLBERT" treadmill that will be used on the space station... named after the goofy fake-TV news host, Stephen Colbert.

Colbert Treadmill
Yesterday, I mentioned the studies website was updated with new programs, and this, the Countermeasure and Functional Testing or simply CFT 70, is the current big kahuna of studies! It is similar to iRATS , though instead of 2-3 weeks, this one will be a longer affair, with more opportunities to test out the new toys!

This is probably the best video I have ever seen in terms of how the treadmill in space works, and how they gear equipment on the ground to simulate weightlessness. The NASA Edge guys featured the original Enhanced Zero-Gravity Locomotion Simulator... the newly built one in Texas is very similar, but with "floating" capability.


Space Treadmill as Featured on NASA Edge

Co-host Blair Allen is a goofball, but highly entertaining, and he volunteered to don the space station harness to try out the treadmill. So, if you are interested in participating in this study, you can watch him undergo all the protocols.

Their show also featured more updated footage on the ISS, Peggy Whitson during training, and a description of what "weightless jogging" feels like around the 5:30 and 6:40 marks. Great stuff!

The new web site design has much more information than the older versions, complete with detailed descriptions, schedules, and photographs of the equipment used in the various trials.

NASA Space Flight Simulation Study
In the past, part of the challenge was not being able to exercise during some of these campaigns, but now exercise and comparison are built in, so they have the potential to be more fun and active, as well as useful to NASA scientists in terms of collected data.

Click on the Application Form to apply, or refer any healthy person, and tell them Pillownaut sent you! I'd love for them to know I'm still doing the Mars Cheerleader thing! ;)

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