Author Topic: Mars Workout Program  (Read 1285 times)

Offline ManNamedDan

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Mars Workout Program
« on: 08/23/2010 02:09 PM »
So I was reading an article that stated that Astronauts would lose a lot of their strength during the long journey through the weightlessness of space. This weightlessness would cause a normal 30 year old man to feel like an 80 year old man when he arrived at Mars. NASA is looking into a way to keep their Astro boys in shape in space.

What if NASA developed a "weight room" with the weights being magnetic? For example an Astro could put on a suit comprising of special shoes, shorts, and vest with pockets with a certain number of magnets that you could be increased or decreased. Then activate floor magnets to create resistance. These floor magnets would create an artificial gravity enabling Astronauts to work out. One problem with this idea though is that how can NASA fit a “weight room” inside of their already cramped shuttle.

If it came down to space in the shuttle they could use dumbbells that can be changed to increase the magnetic resistance.

Just an Idea
Monday, August 23, 2010 9:09 CST

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/08/20/trip-mars-turn-astronauts-weaklings/

Offline Jim

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Re: Mars Workout Program
« Reply #1 on: 08/23/2010 02:29 PM »

What if NASA developed a "weight room" with the weights being magnetic? For example an Astro could put on a suit comprising of special shoes, shorts, and vest with pockets with a certain number of magnets that you could be increased or decreased. Then activate floor magnets to create resistance. These floor magnets would create an artificial gravity enabling Astronauts to work out. One problem with this idea though is that how can NASA fit a “weight room” inside of their already cramped shuttle.

If it came down to space in the shuttle they could use dumbbells that can be changed to increase the magnetic resistance.



The shuttle does not have the ability to go to Mars. 

See IRED

"The third exercise machine is the interim resistance exercise device, or IRED. Hagan describes the equipment: "The IRED is basically two cylinders, and inside each of these cylinders are 13 disks, or flex packs. The flex packs are connected to a central axle with a series of rubber connections." The astronaut sets the number of flex packs to be engaged and pulls on a cord tied to the axle. The flex packs create resistance; the greater the number of flex packs, the greater the resistance, up to 300 pounds per cylinder.

The weight-lifting or strength device also can be used for other exercises. "We have a shoulder harness system [that can be attached to the IRED] so astronauts can do deep knee bends, what we call squats," says Hagan. "They can do back exercises, they can do heel raises. Basically, they're taxing what we call the antigravity muscles: the calves, the thighs, the buttocks, all the back muscles - all those muscles that are engaged when you stand up"

http://gizmodo.com/5205548/pumping-iron-in-zero-gravity-aboard-the-iss

Offline rusty

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Re: Mars Workout Program
« Reply #2 on: 08/23/2010 06:26 PM »

See IRED
"The third exercise machine is the interim resistance exercise device, or IRED. Hagan describes the equipment: "The IRED is basically two cylinders, and inside each of these cylinders are 13 disks, or flex packs. The flex packs are connected to a central axle with a series of rubber connections." (snip)

Sold in terrestrial form on TV/Internet as the Bowflex Revolution. While on the subject; Any thoughts on incorporating peizoelectrics?
Since this is a Mars mission, is there a way to maintain the small, fast-twitch control muscles in the legs? Some form of floor-slider might be effective.

Offline BackInAction

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Re: Mars Workout Program
« Reply #3 on: 08/23/2010 09:15 PM »
The simple solution is rubber bands like Jump Stretch bands.  You don't need thousands of dollars of equipment.  You just need a couple of them.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Mars Workout Program
« Reply #4 on: 08/23/2010 09:26 PM »
The biggest issues by far with prolonged microgravity exposure is not the loss of skeletal muscle mass but instead the loss of bone density and heart muscle.

The latter two make the muscle mass loss problem seem like a minor issue.
Being weak would be inconvenient but getting a broken hip on Mars would be far worse then an inconvenience.

You need something to stimulate the bones to add back calcium and something to exercise the circulatory system.

One solution is to simply spin the ship about it's long axis as the BNTR reference mission does.

Another might be to use a vibrating plate.
 I'd think it might be smart to integrate it into the exercise machines and solve two problems at once.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast02nov_1/

As for the heart the lower body pressure experiment might help some here.

But the best solution is to have artificial gravity or get to Mars quickly.

Once on Mars the 1/3 G is probably enough to solve most of the health issues.
Just weighted outfits with conventional exercise will do probably the job.

The nice thing with a ship that can spin is that it can slowly increase it's g on the trip home and the crew would be mostly reacclimated to 1g by the time they're home.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2010 09:43 PM by Patchouli »

Offline butters

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Re: Mars Workout Program
« Reply #5 on: 08/23/2010 10:25 PM »
What about a sleep restraint that works like a very gentle squat rack, lightly loading the legs and back while sleeping?  It would be a shoulder harness anchored to a back rest that slides on a rail, and a fixed foot plate, with elastic bands in between. 

This would simulate standing up in some amount of gravity (maybe just 3/8g for a trip to/from Mars).  The idea is that the prolonged constant load may be more important to muscular and skeletal fitness than short daily workouts.

In addition to full-blown workout machines, it may be convenient for the crew to have simple equipment that, for example, lets them do heel raises or leg presses while they go about their daily activities. 

Offline BackInAction

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Re: Mars Workout Program
« Reply #6 on: 08/26/2010 06:35 PM »
Your muscles don't actively fire (except spasms) when you sleep.  You would just get squished :)

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