For astronauts developed a new fitness program that their muscles will not lazy

Russian scientists have created a real “gym” space simulator that allows you to perform 11 different exercises on the area of two square meters. New “complex”, the Institute of biomedical problems of RAS yet ready to be sent into orbit, from journalists first tested the correspondent of “MK”.


photo: Natalia Vedeneeva

How to make sure that the astronauts returned after a six-month watch in orbit in the same great shape as it flew? To exit from the lander do not support them to meet, and flown immediately to be included in the work as required in the future (when people will begin to travel to other planets) the new realities. The question, at first glance, simple: we must create a better system of prevention of exposure to adverse factors of weightlessness.

Where else better? Space medicine since the time of Yuri Gagarin’s flight in this issue are advanced. Compare: before returning to Earth heroes at once put on a stretcher and taken to hospital, where they were used to gravity about a month. Today, specialists IBMP RAS has ensured that the astronauts come back, well, if not 100, then 80% the same as the left. They “can walk”, a squat, perform special missions in preparation for future interplanetary flights. There are on the station treadmill, exercise bike, there is a special loading suit “Penguin”, “Chibis”, is an amazing space boots KOR (the Compensator of support unloading), in which the sole is inflated, simulating walking and thus the support zone of the foot.


photo: Natalia Vedeneeva

But this little scientist, – the remaining 20; vulnerability of our heroes did not give them rest. In addition to simulators of endurance and passive compensation measures, the astronauts nothing to build muscles.

So, the specialists IBMP set the task: to make a universal trainer for strengthening muscles of astronauts. And even a place allocated in the future Scientific-power module is approximately two square meters. Its weight must not exceed 100 kg, and power consumption — half a kilowatt. Their special task was added and physiologists.

The result was what I saw in the laboratory of Chief designer Department of the Institute: the device resembles the most common, which are available in each “rocking”, but it is only at first glance.

One of the developers of the multifunctional trainer – senior researcher, candidate of biological Sciences Oleksiy NETREBA previously engaged in problems of athletes tested their muscle in the laboratory of physiology of muscular activity, then engaged in fitness equipment.

Space simulator is different from sports in its purpose, says Netreba. – If the sport we are trying to increase the functionality of the muscles, in the space of the main task is to support them so they are not dropped.

– And what in space is suffering the most?

– What is strained in our earthly life. There is, for example, muscles that we use less — only if you raise something heavy, but this is rare. And there are the muscles-extensors, which we every day to overcome the gravity of Earth, to simply not fall (and after all this our body all the time strive). In space, the extensors don’t work, people will not fall. So we have invested in the “brain” of the simulator exercises which help to work with the load of the extensors: the muscles of the legs, back, neck, calves. A total of 11 exercises and each has additional modes: training – one that astronauts used on the Ground, static testing, when the arm of the exerciser remains stationary and we estimate the maximum power, and isokinetic (adaptive) mode when the load is automatically adjusted to the current capabilities of the muscles.

The presence of a variety of operation modes is the special pride of the developers. It provides two very powerful power drives. The Americans, by the way, can’t say the same for a system of actuators.

It’s time for me to work on super-trainer. Alex picked me programme of work of the third flight engineer (БИ3) for rowing.

I chose the remote control mode is “training” took hold over imaginary oars (actually just an iron bar sliding on rails), but …. the equipment is not earned.

-Ah! This is done on purpose, – says Alexey. – You are currently working with a trainer, I get asked a load, standing at the console. But in space, as a rule, there is no possibility to work in pair (each full of their jobs), because we came up with a cunning trainer starts to operate only when you pull a little “paddles”. The unit “understand” that you are on the site and only then start to work. For example, the situation is different: you are training all the time to counter the load of the simulator, for example, raising the bar, but you need to stop working and move away for a while. To “machine” does not bend under itself, for this I lay a certain number of repetitions that you want to do. For example, ten, after the tenth trainer he is disabled, you can leave her and fly away.

“Fly away” is well said. It is easy, perhaps, to do in zero gravity… at Least the trainer and space, the load on it felt no less than on the earth. But because not to fly – to walk the next day was a bit difficult.

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