The Wall of Death on the moon would help keep astronauts fit in low gravity

Daily Mail

To keep the residence of a future moon base fit and healthy, scientists from the University of Milan recommend a daily jog around a ‘Wall of Death’.
However, the researchers found that running horizontally around the wall can generate enough artificial gravity to keep bones and muscles healthy.
They even suggest that lunar accommodation could be circular so that residents can run around the walls of their own homes.
When humans spend long periods of time in low gravity their muscles and bones start to weaken through lack of use.
Using a rented Wall of Death, some bungee-jumping bands and a 36-meter-high (118ft) the researchers tested whether astronauts could exercise in much the same way.
On Earth, no human can run fast enough to stay horizontal on a Wall of Death like a motorbike rider.
Instead of transporting or building expensive purpose-built equipment, a moon base could simply use circular living areas which the residents could run laps around.
‘They will likely use 3D printer for concrete to build circular settlements where astronauts should live, amuse themselves, have fun, sleep, eat, and run.’


Although carnival sideshows may seem like an unlikely source of scientific inspiration, some researchers believe they could be the key to building future moon colonies.

Researchers from the University of Milan advise jogging around a “Wall of Death” every day to keep the residents of a future moon base healthy and fit.

These eerily named structures may be better known to you as the circular walls that daredevils on motorcycles drive around.

Nonetheless, the researchers discovered that circling the wall horizontally can create enough artificial gravity to maintain the health of bones and muscles.

They even propose that lunar dwellings should have circular layouts to allow occupants to run around the interior walls of their houses.

Humans’ bones and muscles begin to deteriorate from lack of use when they spend extended amounts of time in low gravity.

This can cause major health issues over time and make it impossible for astronauts to work.

The principal investigator, Alberto Minetti, a professor of physiology at the University of Milan, stated to MailOnline that low gravity deconditions a number of vital bodily processes, including the loss of muscle mass, bone density, cardio-vascular efficacy, and neural control. ‘.

To fend off the degrading effects of weightlessness, current astronauts on the ISS use resistance machines to simulate weight.

However, the search for a better solution is underway as NASA moves more seriously toward putting people on the moon with the Artemis missions.

It was suggested in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 epic film “2001: A Space Odyssey” that astronauts might jog inside a revolving space station.

The researchers investigated whether astronauts could exercise in a similar manner using a rented Wall of Death, some bungee jumping bands, and a 36-meter (118-foot) height.

No human being on Earth can run quickly enough to remain horizontal on a Wall of Death, akin to a motorcyclist.

In just five to eight tries, however, participants were able to begin running without any help thanks to elastic bands that simulated the moon’s gravity by supporting 83% of their weight.

In a few laps around the 30-meter (98-foot) circumference, the two test subjects were able to reach speeds of up to 14.5 mph (23 km/h).

Crucially, the researchers found that the participant’s body weight was immediately multiplied by the impact caused by each step on the wall.

This is the same force that would be produced on Earth by a fast jog or a slow run.

Furthermore, the force is sufficient to stop the body from reabsorbing calcium from bones, which gradually weakens the body.

According to Dr. Minetti, reversing any decline should only require two to three minutes of running every twelve hours.

While Kubrick’s “Space Station One,” which resembles a wheel, creates artificial gravity by spinning, this solution enables the astronauts to produce artificial gravity that is roughly 60–70% that of Earth.

The authors of this recent paper note that although enormous spinning structures might be feasible, the cost of constructing a massive centrifuge on the moon would be prohibitive.

As stated by the authors in their paper that was published in Royal Society Open Science: “Technical difficulties and a significant amount of electrical energy would arise from moon-based centrifuges that could move within.”.

Therefore, more time and money must be spent finding practical ways to simulate terrestrial locomotion on the moon. “.

Running tracks could even be incorporated into astronauts’ homes, according to the researchers, making this the most affordable option for creating fitness centers on the moon.

Additionally, Dr. Minetti emphasizes that running vertically is impractical and ineffective on the moon.

He explains, “You end up touching the ground for a very small portion of the locomotory cycle, so you proceed with high jumping instead of running.”.

To obtain a reconditioning stimulus to all functions, you must act quickly. The only method left is to run horizontally along the Wall of Death’s internal walls’ circular path, which will create an artificial lateral gravity that is much higher. ‘.

A moon base could use circular living areas that the occupants could run laps around, rather than transporting or constructing costly purpose-built equipment.

Not only would this reduce expenses, but it would also remove the requirement for any extra electricity that this equipment might require.

Regoliths and lunar rocks, along with water found close to the lunar poles, could be used to construct this, according to Dr. Minetti.

The construction of circular settlements where astronauts live, entertain, have fun, sleep, eat, and run is probably going to be accomplished using a 3D printer for concrete. “.

“A horizontal running cylinder certainly promises to be a useful countermeasure to help prevent deconditioning in reduced gravity on the moon,” said Professor Maria Stokes, a neuromusculoskeletal rehabilitation specialist at the University of Southampton, in an interview with The Guardian.

But Professor Stokes also notes that in order for astronauts to stay in optimal condition, they would still require specialized training for daily life and work skills.

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