Astronauts’ Gym Of The Future Could Be An Alpine Slide In Space

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<p>Courtesy Torin Clark/Jason Gruber</p>
<p><span style="color: rgb(64, 69, 64);">The </span>Turbolift<span style="color: rgb(64, 69, 64);"> is designed to simulate the effects of gravity by accelerating and decelerating an astronaut along a track.  The goal is to counter the negative health consequences faced by astronauts during prolonged voyages in zero gravity.</span></p>

Clark tells Colorado Matters that the health problems astronauts face, including muscle atrophy and bone loss, will be worse on extended voyages like a mission to Mars. To mitigate this, he and his team propose strapping the astronaut into a sled and catapulting it back and forth across a track. The forces of acceleration and deceleration would simulate the effect of gravity.

NIAC is holding a symposium in Denver this week. On Monday we spoke with Chris Dreyer of the Colorado School of Mines, who's part of a team exploring the idea of mining asteroids using concentrated sunlight. On Tuesday, University of Colorado scientist Jay McMahon told us about the possibility of frisbee-like robots flying around and attaching themselves to asteroids.