Think you've got what it takes to be an astronaut?
Today we congratulate Tim Peake for making it into space. He blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Soyuz TMA-19M at 11-am (GMT) on the 15 December 2015 for a 6-month mission. Peake beat over 8,000 other applicants for one of the six places on the ESA's new astronaut training programme.
We heard from astronaut Chris Hadfield that space agencies are scoring on the following attributes:
- Physical ability
- Intellectual ability (masters degree)
- Character and the ability to stay calm and co-ordinated under pressure
So if you're planning on going to space sometime soon, you better make sure you're in shape. Tim is planning on running the London Marathon in April aboard the ISS. Tim completed his first Marathon in 1999, completing the event in 3 hours and 18 minutes. He had this to say:
“The London Marathon is a worldwide event. Let’s take it out of this world. The thing I’m most looking forward to is that I can still interact with everybody down on Earth.”
“One of the biggest challenges I’ll be facing is the harness system. In microgravity, I would float if I didn’t strap myself down to the treadmill so I have to wear a harness system that’s a bit similar to a rucksack.”
Tim's body will be under threat of degrading while in space. Nasa explains what happens with skeletal muscle loss during space flights:
“Calf muscles biopsies before flight and after a six months mission on the ISS show that even when crew members did aerobic exercise five hours a week and resistance exercise three to six days per week, muscle volume and peak power both still decrease significantly.”
“Overall, the data suggest that current exercise countermeasures are not enough. The addition of a second treadmill and the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) along with more rigorous exercise regiment are giving good results in preventing muscle loss and preserving overall muscle health.”
Still want to go to space? Or maybe you fancy joining the London Marathon? We can help you get there. Race us to the Greenwich Observatory and back? You bet ya!
Ps. If you use treadmills but are easily bored, we highly recommend the free Run Social app for helping give a bit of gravity to the event!
With all our love,
The Blackheath Studio Team.