NASA Develops a Super Compact Fitness Machine for Deep Space Missions

By Attila Nagy on at

Astronauts at the International Space Station have to work out every day in order to keep themselves healthy. This means that they exercise two hours per day on three different machines — a bike, a treadmill, and the so-called Advanced Restive Exercise Device (ARED) — in order to prevent loss of bone density, and muscle mass. On the ISS there is enough space for these machines, but what about the less roomy deep-space vehicles like the Orion Spacecraft on which NASA wants to send astronauts on long journeys to the moon and Mars?

The answer is a brand new space fitness machine, the Miniature Exercise Device (MED-2), a compact, lightweight, all-in-one exercise machine, designed for future spaceflight missions beyond Low Earth Orbit. It can be used for a total body workout, from squats and bending exercises for the legs, to arm exercises. This little machine really gets a lot done, as the short video published by NASA Johnson Space Center explains below. MED-2 is on its way to the space station for testing in microgravity, on Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft.