OHB awarded order for astronaut fitness device
Optimized training in space with the Flywheel
The offer submitted by Bremen-based space company OHB-System AG and YoYo Technology AB of Stockholm for a flywheel fitness device suitable for use in space greatly impressed the European Space Agency ESA. In a project worth EUR 1 million, the OHB team will be developing an idea conceived of by the Swedish company involving a fitness device based on the yoyo effect and additionally adjusting it for use in zero-gravity conditions.
The prototype will be available for delivery in 24 months. In outer space, astronauts suffer the risk of muscle and bone atrophy as well as strain on their circulatory systems because their bodies are not exposed to gravity effects. To rectify this situation, it is important for astronauts to engage in regular sport.
The devices currently being used are generally only designed for a single muscle group and in some cases are very inconvenient. In developing the flywheel, OHB has thus attached particular importance to simple and very safe use so that an individual astronaut on board the International Space Station ISS can use it independently free of any risk of injury. In addition, eight different exercises are possible covering nearly all necessary muscle groups.
The flywheel can be used by astronauts of all sizes. Thought is already being given to the idea of a terrestrial spinoff of the flywheel for rehabilitation and therapeutic applications.