During ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen’s mission, one of the experiments will focus on monitoring his health and vital signs as he engages in daily exercise while in space. Understanding how the human body adapts to the challenges of microgravity is a central goal of numerous experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station. While astronauts typically take about two weeks to acclimatize to the space environment, ongoing monitoring of their physical well-being, particularly during exercise, provides valuable insights into how to best support them during their time in orbit.
As part of his Huginn mission, Andreas Mogensen will utilize the SpaceWear monitor, which he will strap to his chest during exercise sessions to capture essential health parameters such as skin temperature and heart rate. The SpaceWear device, roughly the size of a wristwatch, continuously tracks a wide range of health indicators, including heart rate and its variability, respiratory rate, body orientation and movement, and skin temperature. Remarkably, it does so at a staggering rate of 1,000 measurements per second, and it boasts an impressive 10-hour battery life.
What sets the SpaceWear monitor apart from existing health monitors on the International Space Station is not only its compact size but also the frequency and quality of the data it collects. Thomas Andersen, CEO of the Danish Aerospace Company, which developed the device, highlights its potential impact in astronauts’ daily lives aboard the Space Station.
The SpaceWear monitor’s robust design, tailored for extreme environments, could extend its applications beyond space exploration. For instance, the data collected during Andreas’s testing on the Space Station may find utility in high-risk professions like firefighting. Firefighters frequently encounter intense heat, heavy equipment, and physically demanding tasks, and SpaceWear could serve as a valuable tool for monitoring their well-being, providing crucial medical information to prevent and address potential health issues.
Moreover, this health tracker has potential applications in extreme sports as well. Athletes engaged in activities involving high G-forces, such as motorsports drivers and mountaineers scaling high-altitude peaks, could benefit from the insights and data provided by the SpaceWear monitor.
In summary, the SpaceWear monitor’s capabilities extend beyond the realm of Earth’s orbit, making it a versatile tool with the potential to enhance safety and well-being in various challenging environments, from outer space to demanding terrestrial professions and extreme sports.
Source: European Space Agency