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EXPERIMENT INFORMATION

Kinematic and Electromyographic Evaluation of Locomotion on the enhanced-Zero Gravity Locomotion Simulator and in Microgravity (EORS_EMG)
Principal Investigator
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Description
OBJECTIVES:
Studying locomotion in actual microgravity is difficult and expensive. Data can be collected directly from astronauts during spaceflight, or during parabolic flight experiments. The drawbacks to spaceflight experiments include difficulty in using necessary data collection hardware, and in completing an experiment with adequate sample size. Parabolic flight offers a viable ground-based alternative, but periods of microgravity are limited to 20-30 seconds, which only allows for acute locomotion investigations. Measure variables such as comfort level and steady-state metabolic rate are difficult to impossible. Ground-based simulators such as the enhanced Zero-gravity Locomotion Simulator (eZLS) provide a relatively low-cost, longer duration simulation of locomotion in microgravity than parabolic flight.

The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the similarities and differences between locomotion on the eZLS, in microgravity, and in normal gravity. The secondary purpose was to determine how the external load (EL) mechanism affected locomotion on the eZLS. The results of this investigation will help to determine how accurately locomotion in microgravity is replicated on the eZLS, and the important external loading mechanism characteristics that affect locomotion on the eZLS. Two hypotheses were tested during this investigation: (1) When walking and running (controlling for static external load magnitude), locomotion kinematics, ground reaction force (GRF), and lower extremity muscle activation patterns will differ between eZLS and microgravity environments. (2) When walking and running on the eZLS (controlling for static external load magnitude), locomotion kinematics, GRF, and lower extremity muscle activation patterns will differ between external load delivered by bungees and a linear motor subject loading device (LM-SLD).


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Publications
De Witt J, Perusek G, Bentley J, Edwards WB, Gilkey K, Lewandowski B, et al. Kinematic and Electromyographic Evaluation of Locomotion on the enhanced-Zero Gravity Locomotion Simulator and in Microgravity. Final report. Houston TX: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center; 2007 June.

De Witt J, Perusek G, Lewandowski B, Gilkey K, Savina M, Samorezov S, and Edwards, B. Locomotion in Simulated and Real Microgravity: Horizontal Suspension vs. Parabolic Flight. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine. 2010, December. 81(12); 1092-1099.

Keywords
Biomechanics
Electromyography
Exercise/physiology
Gait
Joints
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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Parameters
Ankle angle, maximum
Ankle angle, minimum
Ankle angle, range of motion (ROM)
Electromyography (EMG), biceps femoris
Electromyography (EMG), gastrocnemius
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
ECP 02/01/2005 12/31/2010 In Progress

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Glenn Research Center (GRC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
EMG Kinematics Study