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Effect of Prolonged Space Flights on Human Skeletal Muscle

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Emma Shell

on 7 April 2014

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Transcript of Effect of Prolonged Space Flights on Human Skeletal Muscle

Getting ready for long term human missions into space, this experiment tries to to characterize the effect of long term space flight on muscle tissue. This experiment will allow scientists to develop an excerise program aimed to keep muscles at their greatest preformance while in space for a long mission.

Experimental Process
For the experimental process and investigation, a specially designed torque velocity dynamometer is used to measure muscle strength before and after flight. Also the crew members go through performance tests on their right calf muscles, using the TVD 90, 60, 30, and 15 days before their flight.
Maintaining strong muscles is a challenge for lots of people on earth, but it is much harder to do it in space where their is no gravity. Calf muscle biopsies before flight and after a six months mission on the ISS show that even when crew members on the flight did aerobic exercises 5 hours a week and resistance exercise 3 to 6 days per week, muscle volume and high power both still decrease significantly. Scientists think that the data shows that recent exercise countermeasures are not enough.

Will Aerobic excersises and rigorous training help prevent muscle loss and overall muscle health?
Effect of Extended Space Flights on Human Skeletal Muscle
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is conducted on L-90 and 30 before the TVD testing. A needle biopsy is taken from the right gastrocnemius and soleus muscles on L-45. Another biopsy is taken on the day the crew returns. Additional TVD performance tests are conducted on the right calf on R+7, 14, 21, and 30, and an MRI is taken of the calf at R+1 and 21.

While the crew was in space their calf muscle volume decreased by 13%
When their muscles were at their peak power it decreased by 32%
The features of velocity decreased by 20-30%
IV: How long the crew was in space
DV: Calf muscle volume. Highest power
Controls: muscle test before space
Constants: Member being tested on

Today, excersise programs on the ISS have not found a good way to keep muscles from breaking down.
Why was this experiment preformed in microgravity?
On earth muscles work better. Muscles are supposed to work against gravity. In space muscles break down because their is nothing to work against because their is no gravity?
On earth, elderly peoples muscle tissue usually starts to loose elasticity. The results of this experimet will show a better understanding of muscle atrophy in the older people.
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