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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Pedal-powered Centrifuge could Help Astronauts Stay Fit in Space

The human-powered centrifuge
The human-powered centrifuge
Credit: New Scientist
Astronauts now bike in space, but scientists at University of California, Irvine have developed a bike on a centrifuge that more realistically represents the force of gravity on Earth. This helps to lessen bone and muscle atrophy in space. The device uses a person to pedal, spinning the centrifuge, and a person acting as a counterweight on the other side. The counterweight could be running on a treadmill or doing other exercises. Vince Caiozzo, who leads the research team, says that the people who have tested the prototype do not get motion sick, even up to 43rpm, if they don't look tot he side. Caiozzo says the next level of research is to compare how exercise on the machine compares to exercise on good ol' terra firma.

(More info:
New Scientist)

- posted by Jim @ 22:14 EST