22-25 July 2021 Jodrell Bank Observatory

Exercise like an astronaut

In space astronauts can experience muscle and bone wastage due to reduced activity in microgravity. On the International Space Station devices have been created to allow astronauts to exercise. Similar to bikes and treadmills we find in ordinary gyms, they include bungee cords to hold the astronaut in place. The Resistive Exercise Device (RED) uses vacuum cylinders to simulate weights, and by compressing these cylinders astronauts can mimic weight lifting. RED has a moveable bar, allowing squats, dead lifts, heel raises and bench presses. There is also a cable and pulley system, and a flywheel allowing secondary muscle groups to be exercised. Try your strength against some of the principles used in the RED and feel what it’s like to exercise in space.