Long periods in the microgravity of space can have severe effects on an astronaut’s body. To counter these effects, crew members on the International Space Station must exercise intensively for 2-3 hours per day. Whilst traditional gym equipment might work well on earth, in space things are not so straightforward. The bulk of traditional gym equipment effectively prohibits a space launch and any normal weights machine effectively becomes useless. In space, running on a normal treadmill would likely only produce comical results.
Understanding the effects of space on the human body is an important area of medical research and establishing how exercise keeps astronauts healthy is important in enabling humans to remain in space. This is a critical area for longer range manned missions, most notably to Mars. Accurate and reliable data on an astronaut’s exercise intensity, speed and duration is valuable scientific data.
Zettlex IncOders were selected by NASA scientists as the critical control elements for a new generation of high-tech fitness equipment now being used by crew members on the International Space Station.
Mark Howard, Zettlex General Manager comments: “Perhaps fitness equipment is not the first piece of scientific apparatus that one might consider for the International Space Station. However, it’s crucial to the health and well-being of astronauts and we were delighted that Zettlex products were selected for this important project. Our products had to undergo a long and rigorous qualification process and I’m pleased to say that we passed with flying colours.”
Cllr Peter Topping, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council comments: “It’s great to see Zettlex sensors picked for such a vital piece of equipment. Their technology is world-leading and making a name for South Cambridgeshire innovation on the global stage. Zettlex is an exceptional example of the kind of high-tech, high-growth business that the Council is proud to support and wants to see thriving.”
It’s likely that Major Tim Peake will be putting NASA’s new fitness equipment through its paces on his next visit to the International Space Station in 2019.