“I’m amazed that nobody had the idea before.”

Defying Gravity

Scientists have come up with a surprising new way for astronauts to stay in shape once residing on the surface of the Moon: a “lunar Wall of Death” that allows them to take advantage of the weak gravitational forces.

In other words, the same kind of cylindrical structure used by motorcycle-riding stunt performers could serve as a way for astronauts to stay fit on the Moon — an important problem to solve as NASA looks to return astronauts to the lunar surface as part of its Artemis program within this decade.

A team of scientists led by University of Milan physiology professor Alberto Minetti even put the idea to the test, as The Guardian reports, successfully demonstrating that astronauts could run around such a contraption unaided. Using a 100-foot telescopic crane and some bungee cords, the team allowed the runner to experience Moon levels of gravity.

A video shows a researcher effortlessly running along the circular structure, potentially revolutionizing the future workout routines of Moon-dwelling astronauts.

“I’m amazed that nobody had the idea before,” Minetti told The Guardian. “This could be a convenient way to train on the Moon.”

Lunar Knievel

Spending prolonged periods of time on the surface of the Moon comes with health challenges, including radiation, micrometeorite showers — and of course limited access to breathable air and sustenance.

As research has shown, the microgravity environment of space has serious consequences for the health of astronauts, including bone and muscle loss and deficits of the central nervous system. Even the weak gravity on the Moon’s surface could cause their condition to deteriorate over time.

Just like astronauts exercising on board the International Space Station, future Moon dwellers could use devices like the Wall of Death to ward off these negative health effects.

According to Minetti and his colleagues’ calculations, astronauts would only need to run at speeds of 8 mph or faster to avoid falling.

Other experts, however, question whether it’s the most space-efficient way to keep astronauts in shape. After all, early habitats will likely be extremely small.

At the same time, a lunar Wall of Death sounds like a lot fun — who wouldn’t want to defy gravity while running up almost vertical walls?

More on the Moon: China Releases CGI Video of Moon Base and It Contains Something Strange


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