ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti working in space on the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System, or MARES for short.
Samantha published this image with the text: “This facility will support investigation into the effects of microgravity on muscles. It has had a few teething problems, but we had a successful checkout a couple of weeks ago. It was fun to assemble “the monster”, as we affectionately call it, and to run tests. The biggest challenge, however, was to make all the pieces fit again inside one rack volume after disassembly! Tetris, anyone?”
Muscle strength decreases during spaceflight and researchers need to know why this happens in order to prepare for long-duration missions and safe space tourism. MARES is an exercise bench that offers detailed information about how muscles behave during spaceflight.
Looking at muscle contraction at a single moment gives little information but MARES provides a full overview of muscle speed and force as an elbow or knee joint bends.
Follow Samantha via samanthacristoforetti.esa.int