Education Technology

NASA - ARED -- Resistive Exercise in Space

Published on 07/13/2011

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will explore the real-world situation of resistive exercise in space.


Students will:

  • apply equations of pressure, force, torque, and harmonic motion to solve for unknowns
  • draw a free-body diagram
  • analyze the design of exercise equipment used in space.

About the Lesson

Exploration provides the foundation of our knowledge, technology, resources, and inspiration. It seeks answers to fundamental questions about our existence, responds to recent discoveries, and puts in place revolutionary techniques and capabilities to inspire our nation, the world, and the next generation. Through NASA, we touch the unknown, we learn and we understand. As we take our first steps toward sustaining a human presence in the solar system, we can look forward to far-off visions of the past becoming realities of the future.

The International Space Station (ISS) is a research laboratory that has helped us expand our knowledge of human space exploration since 1998 when its construction began. Astronauts aboard the ISS do not feel the effects of gravity as we do on Earth. As the ISS orbits the Earth, both the vehicle and crew members are in a constant state of free-fall causing astronauts to experience a feeling of weightlessness. In this reduced-gravity state, it is easier to accomplish routine physical activities because they require less use of muscles. Since minimal to no exercise would result in muscle deterioration and bone density loss, astronauts are prescribed exercise routines by exercise and rehabilitation specialists and medical doctors. Astronauts are scheduled to exercise approximately two hours per day to maintain their health while on the ISS.