Thursday, October 7, 2010

Horizontal Exercise Fixture


More good news this week from the Human Test Subject Facility (HTSF) and the folks who function as screeners for the NASA studies. Not only will the new feasibility tests (described in the past two posts) be accepting new paid volunteers through 2010, another will rise to function in tandem with iRATS in 2011, and then a third study will be starting up in the spring! As soon as I find out the details about that one, I'll be happy to discuss them with any interested parties.

As for the usual questions, anyone can look at the screening process from my old website, the studies pay healthy participants $160 per day, and of course the folks at Johnson Space Center are always looking for non-smokers on no regular medications between the ages of 25 and 55.

HEF system principal components
(click to Embiggen!)

Today, I also got a glimpse of one of the newly engineered contraptions that will be used to test muscle strength in micro-gravity simulations. Check out the HEF, or the Horizontal Exercise Fixture.

This photo really cracks me up -- I have been staring at it for ages now, trying to figure out what parts move and how it might feel to exercise in weightlessness, always attempting to exert FORCE on the muscles where none would naturally exist in the space station! There are obviously some sliding parts for leg work, arm holds and of course, abdominal moves from a supine position.

Hopefully, once the studies get underway, I'll be able to feature some video footage of some brave soul testing the feasibility of these new inventions... and bring us closer to what kinds of counter-measures on the ISS will help to keep astronauts more healthy on long-duration expeditions.