“Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring–not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.”
― Carl Sagan
Wow; what a long, strange trip it’s been.
So this time last year I was out in Berkeley, California, giving a talk at the Ancestral Health Symposium, titled Proposed Effective Training Methods for In-Mission Astronauts. That link, by the way, will take you to the 20 minute talk. And here is a post I wrote on the subject shortly before heading out to UC Berkeley for the event.
The physical ramifications of prolonged spaceflight are many. Muscle and bone loss is pronounced. There are severe disturbances with the vestibular system. Bones deteriorate in short order. To put it succintly, in the absence of gravity, the human body degrades at an alarmingly rapid pace.
Toward the end, check out this article on astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who spent 200 days in space on the International Space Station (ISS). A mere 200 days, and she’s wrecked. And I say “mere”, because any manned mission to mars is going to require a minimum 3-year round trip. But we also need to consider that these explorers will need to be mission ready once they hit the martian surface. Now the gravitational pull on mars may only .38 of earth’s, but still, it doesn’t sound like Ms. Cristoforetti is going to be up for any manual labor at all — even at a 62% reduction in gravity. And God forbid there be an emergency of any sort.
This, of course, is a HUGE problem. Both for safety of the crew, and, well… just for gettin’ shit done. Unworldly robotics can only get us so far. And we haven’t even begun to discuss the physical impact on these pioneers upon returning to earth.
So this much is true: current countermeasures are not sufficient to sustain the health of a human on a mission to mars. Not that the entire countermeasures program needs to be scrapped, but it definitely needs some in-depth tweaking.
This post came out shortly after I returned from an IHMC sponsored roundtable discussing the current countermeasures, and proposed fixes and / or tweaks to the program. The result of that meeting? An opportunity to pitch the ARXFit exercise solution directly to NASA. So partner Mark Alexander and I will be heading out to Johnson Space Center in Houston at the end of the month for what is arguably the biggest pitch of our lives. We’ll be making the case that ARXFit technology is a vital missing component to the current countermeasures offered in microgravity.
The nuts-and-bolts of what NASA is missing in their current suite of exercise countermeasures is effective eccentric resistance training. Without a substantial eccentric program in place, extensive muscle and bone loss (and the resultant weakness, injury susceptibility, etc.) will continue to plague astronauts during and following spaceflight.
We at ARXFit have the answer to what has been an extremely vexing problem to prolonged spaceflight. Coupled with some intelligent, Efficient Exercise programming, we feel confident that we can help build bulletproof astronauts capable of thriving during prolonged spaceflight.
And in a couple of weeks, we’ll get the chance to prove why our proposed mix of technology and innovative programming is the missing piece to the overall solution.
As an aside, TNation posted a pretty good (though dated) eccentrics article a few days back. Check it out, here.
The next step? Leveling up in-mission astronauts’ micronutritional deficiencies (which are LEGION), with ID Nutrition.
In health, fitness and ancestral wellness –