Muscle loss tested in artificial gravity

September 15, 2005

University of California-Irvine researchers say a bike-like centrifuge that creates artificial gravity may help astronauts combat muscle atrophy in space.

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute is exploring the concept of a Space Cycle for in-flight resistance-training exercise.

"Even with onboard exercise, astronauts face the risk of losing muscle mass and function because their muscles are not bearing enough weight, or load," said Dr. Vincent Caiozzo, lead investigator. "For exploration, it is important to find ways to increase load-bearing activity so astronauts can maintain strength."

The Space Cycle, a human-powered centrifuge under testing in Caiozzo's lab, generates various levels of artificial gravity ranging from Earth gravity to five times Earth's gravity.

Participants ride opposite one another. As one person pedals, the cycle moves in a circular motion, generating pressure on the rider, forcing him against the seat in a manner similar to the effect of gravity on Earth, scientists said.

On the platform, the other person performs squat exercises. Instruments on the device report the separate work rates of the participants.

Caiozzo is a professor in UC-Irvine's departments of orthopedic surgery, physiology and biophysics.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Mars will come to fear my botany powers

Related Stories

Mars will come to fear my botany powers

November 10, 2015

NASA seems to believe that making space habitable will require more finesse than Elon Musk's "let's nuke Mars" plan, and has funded a couple of synbio projects which seek to provide "the means to produce food, medical supplies ...

New satellite to measure plant health

November 20, 2015

ESA plans to track the health of the world's vegetation by detecting and measuring the faint glow that plants give off as they convert sunlight and the atmosphere's carbon dioxide into energy.

The moon

September 21, 2015

Look up in the night sky. On a clear night, if you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the moon shining in all it's glory. As Earth's only satellite, the moon has orbited our planet for over three and a half billion years. ...

The sun

September 28, 2015

The sun is the center of the Solar System and the source of all life and energy here on Earth. It accounts for more than 99.86% of the mass of the Solar System and it's gravity dominates all the planets and objects that orbit ...

Will the Big Bang go backwards?

September 8, 2015

Imagine the Big Bang in your mind. You're picturing galaxies hurtling past in all directions, like so much star shrapnel from a celestial pinata.

Recommended for you

Roboticists learn to teach robots from babies

December 1, 2015

Babies learn about the world by exploring how their bodies move in space, grabbing toys, pushing things off tables and by watching and imitating what adults are doing.

Getting into the flow on the International Space Station

December 1, 2015

Think about underground water and gas as they filter through porous materials like soil and rock beds. On Earth, gravity forces water and gas to separate as they flow through the ground, cleaning the water and storing it ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.