«Mars-500» project Simulation of a manned flight to Mars
Experiment «Verification of general principles of prophylaxis system for Martian mission»
Romain is carrying out strength training with simulator "MDS". photo: IBMP
It is known that in terms of microgravity during space flights human muscles weaken and atrophy, especially muscles which maintain vertical position of the body in terms of Earth gravity. These are so-called postural muscles: muscles of the back, abdominal muscles, hamstring muscles, gluteus and gastrocnemius muscles. They do not work in microgravity because it is not needed to maintain vertical position, therefore after some period of time from the start of the flight postural muscles undergo obligate atrophic changes. To keep the physical working capacity of cosmonauts during space flights the system of preventive measures including specially selected physical exercises is used for many years. And the more movements of the cosmonaut during the training will be similar to natural movements on the Earth the more effective these exercises will be.
Alexandr is carrying out training on treadmill with track moving by the force of the legs. photo: IBMP
During Mars-500 experiment the most effective systems of space trainings are used. The purpose of the experiment “Verification of general principles of prophylaxis system for Martian mission” is to compare several countermeasures means and recognize the most effective ones which could keep physical working capacity of the crew in terms of imitated flight to Mars when the physical activity of the crew is decreased.
Diego is carrying out strength training with on-board espanders. photo: IBMP
Two complexes of the trainings (strength and aerobic) are planned. Strength trainings are carried out with three training means: multifunctional Russian-Austrian strength simulator “MDS”, on-board espanders adn vibro-platform.
Aerobic complex consists of trainings on treadmill with moving track, trainings on treadmill with track moving by the force of the legs and trainings with veloergometer. After the end of the experiment the comparison of the effectiveness of all these means will be held.
To make the comparison easier the Mars-500 crew is divided in three groups (by two men). Each group trains using one of these means and changing them in two months.
Wang Yue is preparing to carry out strength training on the vibro-platform. photo: IBMP
During first two month of the experiment (1-66 day) all crewmembers carried out the complex of strength trainings: each group used their own program. After final testing on the 69th and 70th experimental days the crew proceeded to the next training cycle – complex of aerobic exercises. Aerobic complex will finish on the 135th day of the experiment (there will be next testing on this day). And after that strength complex will start again according to the next training program.
So during the experiment each crew member must perform two-month training course with each of the six training means. After each training course it is planned to perform the testing of strength abilities of postural muscles which allows estimating after the experiment what program is more effective for the keeping of physical working capacity.