Forget spacewalking, how about space running?


While a spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS) requires climbing into an unwieldy spacesuit for a six-hour stint outside the orbital facility, a “space run” is a simple case of drifting effortlessly to the Node 3 module — also known as Tranquility — attaching a harness, stepping onto the T2 treadmill, and hitting the “on” button.

Current ISS inhabitant Matthias Maurer recently shared a 360-degree video (below) showing him taking some exercise on the treadmill, with the harness ensuring he doesn’t float away from the machine in the microgravity conditions.

“You’ve seen a spacewalk, how about a space run?” Maurer wrote in a tweet introducing the video. “T2 in Node 3 is our trusty treadmill & when we strap ourselves in with the harness and bungees it’s almost like running on Earth.”

As the video was shot with a 360 camera, you can drag the picture around to explore the entirety of Tranquility as Maurer takes a run (alternatively, you can take a more detailed video tour of the module).

Maurer, who arrived at the space station in November, recently posted another video showing him using ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), a machine featuring pneumatic cylinders that create the necessary force to give a vital body workout.

Another machine astronauts can use as part of their daily two-hour fitness sessions is CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System), a specially designed “bicycle” ideal for aerobic exercise.

This NASA video from a few years back shows the various ISS fitness machines in action, and offers more information about astronauts’ workout plans.

The microgravity conditions aboard the station mean that astronauts’ muscles experience very little use, a situation that can lead to rapid deterioration unless they perform regular workouts.

And if you’re wondering whether astronauts sweat in space, well, the answer is yes, they do. However, there’s one notable difference: Whereas on Earth, gravity causes the excreted sweat to roll down the face and body, in space it stays where it forms, creating a film of salty liquid on the skin. In this case, absorbent towels come in handy to wipe the sweat away.

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