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Human centrifuge research for students

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis! Human Edition

The Spin Your Thesis! – Human Edition (SYT-HE) programme offers university students (bachelor, master and PhD level) the opportunity to perform non-invasive experiments investigating the human physiological response to exercises employed on the International Space Station (ISS) when performed in 1g (standing upright on Earth) and in different levels of centrifugal acceleration on a human centrifuge.

A combination of artificial gravity provided by a human centrifuge and exercise has been proposed as way to mitigate the physiological de-conditioning associated with microgravity and thereby support human health during long-term space missions. Currently astronauts have to train several hours per week to maintain their physical fitness. 

Such effects include deterioration of bone and muscle, cardiovascular dysfunction, dizziness and disorientation, eye damage, back pain and compromised immune systems.

However, there is no agreement on what kind of exercise should be part of a new training protocol during centrifugation.

Thus, evaluation of such exercises during1g spin is a vital first step in order to determine whether it is advantageous to perform exercise during increased (hyper) gravity.

In addition, not only will such studies facilitate long term space missions but may also provide insights into the mechanism and/or ways to combat problems arising from extended periods of bed rest e.g. following surgery, disuse from sedentary lifestyles and issues associated with ageing i.e. osteoporosis, sarcopenia and cardiovascular disease. 

To maintain their physical fitness in space, astronauts have to train on a daily basis to prevent muscles and bones from degradation.
To maintain their physical fitness in space, astronauts have to train on a daily basis to prevent muscles and bones from degradation.