The Shuttle Treadmill is the only certified in-flight exercise hardware that is flown on missions of varying durations. Treadmill use has raised several concerns including noise, vibration, subject discomfort, and the inability to quantify workload. These concerns warrant evaluation of alternate in-flight exercise hardware.
The objectives of this study were 1) to evaluate the cycle ergometer for ease of set up and stowage, physical comfort, and subject restraint affectivity on different crewmembers' performance; 2) to quantify the magnitude and frequency spectrum of vibration during cycle ergometer exercise sessions; and 3) to compare crewmember responses to cycle ergometer workloads using a heartwatch.
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Five crewmembers were requested for this hardware evaluation. The cycle ergometer was evaluated as an alternative to the Shuttle Treadmill. Physical discomfort was documented and biomechanical analysis was performed in conjunction with various protocols/workloads. Heart rate was recorded for evaluation of the resistive workload settings in 0-g as compared to 1-g heart rate responses to similar workloads. Vibration data was recorded by the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) when available.
Results for this experiment are not available at this time. However, the investigators expected to find that the ambient noise, subject discomfort, and vibration transmitted to the Shuttle structure during exercise on the cycle ergometer was less than that previously documented for the Shuttle treadmill and the cycle ergometer hardware functioned as an appropriate exercise device for extended duration orbiter countermeasures.