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Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module

Posted by: SpaceProbe - Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:01 pm
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Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module 
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Post Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:01 pm
Hello all,

My question / comment pertains to the building of a zero-gravity gymnasium module to be added to the International Space Station.

Why has it not been done?

It seems as if the biggest present issue pertaining to human beings living permanently beyond the confines of our Earth, which right now means living in outer space notably in the International Space Station, is loss of muscle weight and bone density decrease.

Astronauts live in cramped quarters, and rely on measly exercise machines tucked in little corners of the space station, next to dining tables or ducks cables and tubings of all sorts, to attempt (unsuccessfully it seems) to prevent their bodies from breaking down due to the effects of weightlessness.

Scientific experiments of all sorts are important on the space station, however should not long-term survival and well-being of its human inhabitants be the priority? Only if humans successfully, and happily, are able to live in weightlessness will the avowed NASA-goal of human space colonization ever become reality !

When will NASA, ESA, RSA or any of the other space agencies finally decide to plan build and construct an actual zero-gravity space gymnasium module ? Will they never do so and let private enterprises accomplish this necessary technical endeavour before they ever do, thus only proving their lack of imagination, enterprise, and vision ?

I am writing this flabbergasted by the evidence of the necessity of such an operation..

A Gym module is the main, perhaps the only solution to the problem of the physical deterioration of the human body in the weightless environment of space. It will provide invaluable psychological health benefits, promote team-work, provide an area to decompress and relax, and does not seem particularly technologically difficult to build.


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Post Re: Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:47 am
SpaceProbe wrote:
Hello all,

My question / comment pertains to the building of a zero-gravity gymnasium module to be added to the International Space Station.

Why has it not been done?

It seems as if the biggest present issue pertaining to human beings living permanently beyond the confines of our Earth, which right now means living in outer space notably in the International Space Station, is loss of muscle weight and bone density decrease.

Astronauts live in cramped quarters, and rely on measly exercise machines tucked in little corners of the space station, next to dining tables or ducks cables and tubings of all sorts, to attempt (unsuccessfully it seems) to prevent their bodies from breaking down due to the effects of weightlessness.

Scientific experiments of all sorts are important on the space station, however should not long-term survival and well-being of its human inhabitants be the priority? Only if humans successfully, and happily, are able to live in weightlessness will the avowed NASA-goal of human space colonization ever become reality !

When will NASA, ESA, RSA or any of the other space agencies finally decide to plan build and construct an actual zero-gravity space gymnasium module ? Will they never do so and let private enterprises accomplish this necessary technical endeavour before they ever do, thus only proving their lack of imagination, enterprise, and vision ?

I am writing this flabbergasted by the evidence of the necessity of such an operation..

A Gym module is the main, perhaps the only solution to the problem of the physical deterioration of the human body in the weightless environment of space. It will provide invaluable psychological health benefits, promote team-work, provide an area to decompress and relax, and does not seem particularly technologically difficult to build.



Try here http://bit.ly/wGr3Fj


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Post Re: Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:43 pm
What evidence do you have that your gymnasium would work better than the current solutions? What would it cost? Is it worth the money compared to the current practice of rotating out crew regularly so that they don't spend too much time in zero g?

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Post Re: Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:50 pm
Lourens wrote:
What evidence do you have that your gymnasium would work better than the current solutions? What would it cost? Is it worth the money compared to the current practice of rotating out crew regularly so that they don't spend too much time in zero g?


Those are all interesting and valid questions!

In this paper by Patrick Collins, Takashi Fukuoka and Tsuyoshi Nishimura, available online at http://www.spacefuture.com/archive/zero_gravity_sports_centers.shtml, the launch and construction costs are estimated at $20 million, assuming a launch cost of $200,000 / tonne.


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Post Re: Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:02 pm
JamesHughes wrote:



LOL! That was awesome. I'll need to remember that one.


@ Spaceprobe.

The problem isn't exercise or the accommodations. The astronauts train for years and are selected for their ability to tolerate/function with living inside a subway car for months. They are in very good shape and stay that way during their missions. The problem is the micro-gravity and its effects on physiology that no amount of exercise can overcome. To address that, you would need some sort of artificial gravity, usually by centrifuge. The ISS' design and configuration is not conducive to that. There were plans to bring up a module with a centrifuge in it, but it wouldn't have been big enough to "live" in, and it got cut for budget reasons.


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Post Re: Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:55 pm
JamesG wrote:
JamesHughes wrote:
The problem isn't exercise or the accommodations. The astronauts train for years and are selected for their ability to tolerate/function with living inside a subway car for months. They are in very good shape and stay that way during their missions. The problem is the micro-gravity and its effects on physiology that no amount of exercise can overcome. To address that, you would need some sort of artificial gravity, usually by centrifuge. The ISS' design and configuration is not conducive to that. There were plans to bring up a module with a centrifuge in it, but it wouldn't have been big enough to "live" in, and it got cut for budget reasons.
You're right, but left out some other problems with using a centerfuge attached to the station. The rotation of the mass of the centerfuge would induce a torque in the opposite direction to the station as a whole. The current sprawling design isn't reinforced to handle that, nor ballanced to turn without destabilising if it were re-inforced. That would mean, either building a new station (or possibly reconfiguring the existing modules with more sent up), or spinning up 2 centrupedal modules to cancel each-other out.

But yeah, the problem of muscle mass can be solved with exercize, the bone density can only be fixed with gravity, or accelleration.

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Post Re: Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:18 pm
The ISS uses gyroscopes to maintain orientation stability. I believe the intent with the centrifuge was to install it where and in an orientation that it performed the same stabilizing function.


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Post Re: Zero-Gravity Space Gymnasium Module   Posted on: Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:20 pm
The gyroscopes are in opposing pairs, and a lot smaller than a module you can work out in. If they made such an upgrade, it would have to be in opposing pairs not to de-stabilize it. Also, the gyros are mostly for inertial sensing, the stabilization is caused by microthrusters which use the sensors. All of them put together aren't enough to affect the net mass of the entire instilation intentionally.

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