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: What about a mission to Titan?

Related Stories

What about a mission to Titan?

March 27, 2017

As you probably know, NASA recently announced plans to send a mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. If all goes well, the Europa Clipper will blast off for the world in the 2020s, and orbit the icy moon to discover all its secrets.

Curiosity captures gravity wave shaped clouds on Mars

March 24, 2017

This week, from March 20th to 24th, the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be taking place in The Woodlands, Texas. Every year, this conference brings together international specialists in the fields of geology, ...

Ice in Ceres' shadowed craters linked to tilt history

March 22, 2017

Dwarf planet Ceres may be hundreds of millions of miles from Jupiter, and even farther from Saturn, but the tremendous influence of gravity from these gas giants has an appreciable effect on Ceres' orientation. In a new study, ...

Keeping our cool in space

February 27, 2017

As spacecraft become larger, the heat they produce also increases. That means vehicles built for long-term space exploration need more efficient cooling systems.

Recommended for you

Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom

March 27, 2017

Researchers at Aalto University have manufactured artificial materials with engineered electronic properties. By moving individual atoms under their microscope, the scientists were able to create atomic lattices with a predetermined ...

0 comments

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.