Future missions to Mars may take up to three years to complete, and during this time astronauts will be subject to the bone and muscle wasting pressures that come from living in the zero gravity, or close to zero gravity, of space.
It is imperative that a way is found to keep astronauts fit and reducing the ‘wastage’ to a minimum. This is where Dr Brian Caulfield and his team at UCD come in. They have designed a muscle stimulating device, something akin to more sophisticated version of the Slendertone product, that will enable astronauts to exercise even while asleep.
Meanwhile, here on Earth, the device can be used to help elderly or disabled people to exercise.
Broadcast on Ireland AM on 28.10.2009