This loading system simulates an additional 1g bodyweight
Researchers at King’s College London are working with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a high-tech, tight-fitted space ‘skinsuit’ to help astronauts overcome back problems in space.
Astronauts’ bodies adapt to weightlessness in space, causing bone and muscle mass to decrease as they are not needed to counteract the force of gravity. The ‘gravity loading countermeasure skinsuit’ utilises a lightweight elastic material that gradually produces cumulative tension, shoulder to foot. It does this by using horizontal strands in the suit as a ‘belt’ which creates a loading system directed towards the feet. This loading system simulates an additional 1g bodyweight, thereby mimicking the gravitational pull of the Earth and the force this generates on our bodies.
In weightlessness, astronauts have been known to grow by up to 7cm as gravity is no longer loading the spine. Many astronauts suffer from backache during their missions as a result of this. When astronauts return to Earth they are four times more likely to suffer a slipped disc than usual, meaning they have to take care as they exercise their bodies back into shape.
Phil Carvil, Centre of Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences (CHAPS) at King’s, said: ‘Here on Earth we are constantly resisting gravity, meaning that even by sitting and walking around we’re exercising our muscles and bones. In space the loading effect of gravity is removed and as a consequence, astronauts’ bones and muscles aren’t getting the natural forces they need to keep them healthy.’
The skinsuit could also be used on Earth to counteract the effects of ageing on bone density and muscle mass.
Carvil added: ‘The space environment provides ideal conditions for studying ageing because of the acceleration of muscle and bone wastage in space. At King’s we’re conducting further tests to examine the practicality of wearing the skinsuit both in space and here on Earth as well as investigating further terrestrial applications.’
Dr David Green, principal investigator at King’s, said: ‘New countermeasures are urgently required for space exploration. Astronauts currently spend 2.5 hours per day exercising or just getting out and putting away the required equipment. Despite this they still experience muscle and bone wastage. The skinsuit potentially offers a more effective countermeasure that takes very little space and volume and takes seconds to put on. However, putting the suit on in microgravity is not easy. During a parabolic flight in March we will test the impact of the skinsuit on posture and the ease with which it is removed and put back on, all in conditions of weightlessness.’
The Latest on: Space exploration
via Google News
The Latest on: Space exploration
- Plants grown in moon dirt, a breakthrough discovery for space exploration & agricultureon May 13, 2022 at 10:12 am
The study gave scientists the "chance to use plants in the exploration environment the way they're used here on earth, for food, for producing our oxygen, for taking in our co2, and for recycling our ...
- Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market Size to Reach USD 630.23 Billion in 2028 | Increasing Number of Private Companies Investing in Space Secton May 13, 2022 at 7:45 am
Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market Size to Reach USD 630.23 Billion in 2028 \| Increasing Number of Private Companies Investing in Space Sect. Press Release From: Emergen ...
- The Ukraine War is Accelerating the New Space Raceon May 13, 2022 at 1:50 am
Shortly after Russia was sanctioned for invading Ukraine in late February, Russia’s state-run space agency, Roscosmos, announced that it was officially ...
- Colombia signs the Artemis Accords for peaceful space explorationon May 12, 2022 at 4:21 pm
It's the 19th country to join NASA in the agreement, following quickly after Bahrain and Singapore in recent weeks.
- Colorado Students to Hear from Astronauts Aboard Space Stationon May 12, 2022 at 12:18 pm
Students from Boulder, Colorado, will have an opportunity next week to hear from American and European astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The space-to-Earth call will air live at 12:05 ...
- Food grown in soil collected from moon could boost space explorationon May 12, 2022 at 8:02 am
Scientists have cultivated cress in dirt, or regolith, that had been kept for half a century - since the Apollo missions. It is a first step towards producing food and oxygen on the moon ...
- Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan to Cooperate in Space Explorationon May 11, 2022 at 5:21 am
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev approved the intergovernmental decree between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan on space exploration, reports the Uzbek Ministry of Justice. The document was ...
- How Computing Is Impacting Space Explorationon May 4, 2022 at 7:01 am
In simple terms, these computing tools help give us easy access to data that provides more information and helps us run space exploration more efficiently by making communication faster. In August ...
- NASA chief says competition is making space exploration cheaper, in dramatic shift on contractson May 3, 2022 at 4:53 pm
... and Space Administration on Tuesday discussed a dramatic shift in how the agency plans to issue contracts for its space exploration programs, citing success with cost-saving competitive bids. NASA ...
- NASA and Russia continue space exploration together 'despite the horrors' in Ukraineon May 3, 2022 at 5:52 am
More than two months into the war in Ukraine, NASA and Russia’s space agency continue to work together toward flying a cosmonaut on an American spacecraft and jointly operating the International Space ...
via Bing News