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Mon, Nov 19, 2007
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Training for 0G (Zero Gravity)
Project: ET2 Architecture?
The Gyroscope is a training device used by those preparing for an extended stay in space, but contrary to conventional wisdom, it does not attempt to simulate the feeling of weightlessness. Instead, the gyroscope large enough to hold a human being is really not much more than an elaborate piece of gym equipment. In fact, a German entrepeneur introduced the Aerotrim in the 1960's as a form of alternative exercise. It was adopted by several space agencies soon afterwards.

According to Wikipedia:
Contrary to the initial appearance, the Aerotrim is not a close-your-eyes-and-hold-on machine and does not cause dizziness or nausea if it is controlled by the rider himself. Like a dumbbell or bicycle, human strength is required to direct the motions by balancing the body weight. During a forward or backward spin to be in command of the machine becomes limited, but it is still possible to flip out of a spinning loop and translate the momentum from forward motion to a sideways, backwards, horizontal or vertical spin. It is the only stationary exercise machine known to have the ability to move into any direction by counterbalance alone.

It is this control, or ‘wheeling’, that requires every muscle in the body to be used evenly, even those not usually targeted by weight training or general cardiovascular exercise. A half-hour session in the Aerotrim equals a two-hour cardio session in an entire gym, including pool. The spinning motion gives a feel of weightlessness and it is this feeling that can cause a healthy addiction.

Because this "machine" doesn't rely on counterweight to provide resistance to human movement, it's an ideal machine for exercising in space. Naturally, trainees get accustomed to the machine while still earthbound, as the video footage demonstrates. I don't know...just watching the video makes me want to gag a bit.

Mon, Nov 19, 2007  Permanent link

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