Recreation Area & Conference Room
Communal area for
This is an area where the crew meet, not only socially, but also to discuss the business of the Station.
What exactly is the Business of the Station? Not sure, then use the links to find out.
Justification and Goals
UN Treaty on Outer Space
On long-duration spaceflights of several months, Russian cosmonauts soon discovered the prolonged effects of weightlessness. The quantity of blood is reduced, the muscles reduce, the bones lose calcium, the heart does not need to pump so hard. Once back on Earth, under the effect of gravity, these all become serious health problems. Mineral and vitamin supplements are used in the food, but the main way to prevent these problems is to exercise for about two hours every day.
The treadmill excercise device developed for Skylab 4. Astronaut William Thonton shows how it works (right).
The normal movements of an exercise regime will result in you pivoting about your own centre of gravity. The solution is to create some artificial resistance to your movements that will allow your muscles to work and your bones to experience some compression. By anchoring yourself in various positions you can exercise against the anchor point. Even a treadmill like the one shown above can be used in this way. The Lower Body Negative Pressure Device produces a partial vacuum around the legs, to help blood flow into this region of the body.
The images above show close-up details of the treadmill developed for maintaining the leg and back muscles of the Skylab 4 crewmen. It consisted of a Teflon-coated aluminum plate fixed to a floor. Bungee cords attached to the floor and to the harness supplied downward force for the back and leg muscles to work against . The astronaut's feet slid on the Teflon-coated plate as he walked on the spot.
Alan Bean (left) and Jack Lousma (right) exercise aboard Skylab 3
This module will be used for entertainment during your off-duty hours and also for keeping healthy by exercising. Exercise is important on Earth, but there gravity is toning muscles and bones automatically as you resist its effects, whether standing or just sitting. This force no longer applies on the space station, so there are special exercises which need to be done regularly to compensate. In the early days of space travel, returning astronauts found their muscles and bones had become weak. They were barely able to walk for quite a while after they landed back on Earth and were once again experiencing "one g".
Project: Devise a useful exercise for the Space Station crew that can be made into a game or competition with other crew members.
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