Astronaut Tim Peake : Health, Well Being and Fitness in Space
On the 15th December 2015 British astronaut Tim Peake was launched to the International Space Station for Expeditions 46 and 47 on board Soyuz TMA-19M with fellow American, Russian and Japanese crew. They are scheduled to return on 5th June 2016.
n be significant effects on the body for astronauts that travel to, and then live and work in space for a period of time due to long term weightlessness. These include motion sickness, loss of bone density and muscle mass, slowing of the cardiovascular system, fluid redistribution, as well as balance, eyesight and taste disorders. There can also be a number of psychological effects that astronauts can suffer from due to immense stress, anxiety and insomnia.
As part of the preparations before astronauts leave on their space missions they undergo 40 hours of medical training. The training ensures they can adequately manage common medical conditions that are likely to occur on the International Space Station such a motion sickness, headaches, back pain, skin conditions, burns and dental emergencies. As well as learning how to stich a wound, give an injection and extract a tooth.
The International Space Station is equipped with a first aid kit, medical books, a defibrillator, a portable ultra sound, optical apparatus and two litres of saline. The ultra sound device can generate clear pictures of inside the astronaut’s bodies on space and send them to a medical team back on Earth for help with diagnosis.
Fitness in space is very important and exercise is scheduled daily. This is monitored by the team on Earth, as is the amount of food and liquid that the astronauts are consuming. The International Space Station is fitted with certain space style gym equipment to help reduce loss of bone and muscle mass.
A Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation System similar to that of an exercise bike is bolted to the floor of the Space Station, the astronauts strap their shoes into buckles and have a seat belt to ensure they stay on the bike whilst exercising. There is also a Resistive Exercise Device echoing a piece of weight lifting equipment and a Treadmill Vibration Isolation System. Astronauts put on a harness to attach them to the treadmill so that their feet stay attached to the treadmill and the treadmill moves with the astronaut whilst they run.
British Astronaut Tim Peake ran the 2016 London Marathon from the International Space Station on the treadmill. He is the first man to run a marathon in space. Tim Peake ran to raise awareness for The Prince’s Trust, he started at 10am GMT, the same time as if he were running in London, UK and whilst running watched an HD video of the London course to simulate his route. He completed the London Marathon in space, in a time of three hours, thirty-five minutes and twenty-one seconds.