lunar astronauts could benefit from horizontal running

On the ISS, such loss is counteracted by exercise, such as running on a treadmill.
But such exercise would not be sufficient for astronauts living for an extended period on the moon.
In this new effort, the research team found that instead of running on a treadmill, astronauts on the moon could run inside a cylinder.
The idea for the cylinder came from the so-called “wall of death” used in side-show attractions at county fairs.
Motorcycle riders appear to defy gravity by driving horizontally to the ground inside of a large cylinder.
To find out, they rented a cylinder from a local fair and placed a runner inside of it.
To keep the runner from falling, the researchers attached a bungee cord to a harness worn by a volunteer.
The two volunteers ran as they would while exercising and achieved average speeds of 6 meters per second.


Running in a cylinder horizontally should help astronauts on the moon avoid degenerating muscle and bone, according to research conducted by a small team of pathophysiologists and human locomotion specialists at the University of Milan. The team replicated the moon’s gravitational pull on willing runners inside a borrowed “wall of death” in their study, which was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. “.

Previous studies have demonstrated that humans lose muscle and bone mass when attempting to live in a low-gravity environment, like the International Space Station (ISS) or on the moon, which can cause health issues. Exercise, such as treadmill running, is used to offset this loss on the International Space Station. However, this kind of exercise would not be adequate for astronauts who were going to be living on the moon for a long time. In this new endeavor, the research team discovered that astronauts on the moon could run inside a cylinder as an alternative to using a treadmill.

The cylinder’s concept originated from the “wall of death,” which was a side attraction at county fairs. By traveling horizontally to the ground inside of a big cylinder, motorcycle riders seem to be defying gravity. Both the motorcycle’s increasing speed and the friction of the tires against the cylinder walls allow for the accomplishment.

The researchers thought it should be feasible for humans to run quickly enough to avoid falling, even though this would not be possible on the moon. They used a runner inside a cylinder they rented from a nearby fair to discover the answer.

The researchers fastened a bungee cord to a volunteer’s harness in order to prevent the runner from falling. The cord was adjusted to replicate the gravitational pull of the moon. The two volunteers averaged 6 m/s when running as they normally would during physical activity.

When the volunteers ran in the cylinder on a daily basis on the moon, the forces they exerted against its walls would have prevented their muscles and bones from atrophy, according to the research team, who also observed that the volunteers’ forces were comparable to typical Earthbound runner forces.

Science X Network, © 2024.

scroll to top