Health & Science

Want To Exercise Like An Astronaut? NASA Plans To Webcast Workouts From Space

NASA is launching a fitness program from the International Space Station. Starting in September, people around the world can follow an astronaut in his daily workout routine and learn about the effects of zero-gravity on the human body.


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On the Space Station, there’s one room in particular — called a module — that represents both the soaring glory of space flight and also the day-to-day banality of life in cramped, zero-gravity conditions.

It’s the Tranquility module.

Only 21 feet long, it contains a cupola with windows where astronauts can stare out at Earth.

And it also contains the workout machines and life-support equipment.

Doug Wheelock
Astronaut Doug Wheelock showcases the 21 foot long cuploa

Astronaut Doug Wheelock gave a brief tour of a mock-up of Tranquility at the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake.

“We have all of our life support system in here. We have acedra which scrubs CO2 out of the atmosphere in here, which is in one of these racks. We also have an oxygen generator, that puts oxygen back in the atmosphere in this module. Our treadmill’s here; this is our potty. And this is exactly where it’s located on the Space Station.”

Astronauts must exercise two to two and a half hours a day to maintain physical fitness in space.

Without it, they could lose 1-2 percent of bone density per month.

Wheelock recalls how he used to throw himself into his workouts on the Space Station, eagerly taking his turn on the exercise bike, the treadmill, and a machine that builds muscles through resistance.

“In space I was really, really disciplined because I kept thinking about that endpoint, when they pull me out of that capsule I don’t want to look like a piece of spaghetti or something, you know.”

Mike Hopkins
New Astronaut Mike Hopkins created the Facebook page “Train Like An Astronaut”.

Now a new astronaut, Mike Hopkins, is taking that focus public.

Hopkins launches September 25 for the space station.

He says he will share his workouts before, during, and after his six-month stay on board the station.

“So people can follow along: what’s Mike doing today on station, is he doing squats, is he running on the treadmill, is he on that CEVIS, the exercise bike.”  

Astronauts onboard are also taking part in medical experiments — one involves changing the amount of protein in the diet, to see how it affects bone loss.

To follow Mike Hopkins’ workouts, search for “Train Like An Astronaut” on Facebook. 

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