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A Pilot Study for Applying an Extravehicular Activity Exercise Prebreathe Protocol to the International Space StationDecompression sickness (DCS) is a serious risk to astronauts performing extravehicular activity (EVA). To reduce this risk, the addition of ten minutes of moderate exercise (75% VO2pk) during prebreathe has been shown to decrease the total prebreathe time from 4 to 2 hours and to decrease the incidence of DCS. The overall purpose of this pilot study was to develop an exercise protocol using flight hardware and an in-flight physical fitness cycle test to perform prebreathe exercise before an EVA. Eleven subjects volunteered to participate in this study. The first objective of this study was to compare the steady-state heart rate (HR) and oxygen consumption (VO2) from a submaximal arm and leg exercise (ALE) session with those predicted from a maximal ALE test. The second objective was to compare the steady-state HR and V02 from a submaximal elastic tube and leg exercise (TLE) session with those predicted from the maximal ALE test. The third objective involved a comparison of the maximal ALE test with a maximal leg-only (LE) test to conform to the in- flight fitness assessment test. The 75% VO2pk target HR from the LE test was significantly less than the target HR from the ALE test. Prescribing exercise using data from the maximal ALE test resulted in the measured submaximal values being higher than predicted VO2 and HR. The results of this pilot study suggest that elastic tubing is valid during EVA prebreathe as a method of arm exercise with the flight leg ergometer and it is recommended that prebreathe countermeasure exercise protocol incorporate this method.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Woodruff, Kristin K.
(Wyle Labs., Inc. Houston, TX United States)
Johnson, Anyika N.
(National Space Biomedical Research Inst. Houston, TX United States)
Lee, Stuart M. C.
(Wyle Labs., Inc. Houston, TX United States)
Gernhardt, Michael
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Schneider, Suzanne M.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Foster, Philip P.
(Baylor Coll. of Medicine Houston, TX United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2000
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:210132
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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