After spending time in space, astronauts generally experience body movement disorders that have not been resolved.
Reported by ABC Australia, Australian researchers are now developing a tool that will make it easier for astronauts to return to normal movements when returning to Earth.
Professor Dr. Gordon Waddington from the University of Canberra who was involved in this study explained, astronauts experience sensorimotor interference, which is the loss of control of their arms as they land on Earth.
The Tools That Shaped Like Socks
“This tool aims to strengthen the sensorimotor in the forearm of astronauts,” explained Professor Waddington Farid M. Ibrahim of ABC News in Melbourne.
He explained, when astronauts spent more than four weeks in space, the lack of external stimulus caused them to experience these sensorimotor disorders.
“This project answers NASA’s need to conduct Human Exploration Research Opportunities research and aims to improve the performance and rehabilitation of astronauts involved in NASA and ESA (European space agency) space missions,” he said.
“In line with NASA’s plan to return to the moon in 2024, this technology will reduce the risk of human disability in spacecraft, because of the length of time they go through a period without weight,” explained Professor Waddington.
Professor Waddington who is also director of the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE) will utilize his experience in sports technology.
“We can utilize the equipment developed in this research to overcome the sensorimotor disturbances experienced by astronauts, through equipment that can be used,” he explained.
The equipment, said Prof. Waddington, is a form of compression socks, which will be produced by SRC Health, a health care garment company in Melbourne.
Tools shaped like socks are worn on the forearms of astronauts to strengthen the sensorimotor system that functions to control the movement of their hands.
Besides being used by astronauts, these compression socks can also help people who have been injured and help the elderly not to fall.
One company owned by the University of Canberra, Prism Neuro, will also develop products using this technology.
“This project will advance the development of health and therapeutic equipment to help overcome, treat and improve human sensory motor abilities,” said Professor Waddington.
The research conducted by Prism Neuro involved the Australian companies ElmTEK and SRCHealth, with funds of AU $ 432,000 from the ‘Australian Space Agency’ (ASA).
“It is very encouraging for Australia to be involved in NASA research, specifically addressing medical problems in space and the impact of space life on humans,” said elmTEK director Ganen Ganeswaran.
Control of the space mission in Adelaide
Meanwhile, earlier this week (15/06), Australia launched a space mission controller located in Adelaide.
The Mission Control Center of the Australian Space Agency’s space agency allows researchers to control space missions and communicate with astronauts on the ISS international space station.
Australia’s Minister of Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews explained the Mission Control Center will encourage the growth of the Australian space industry sector and create jobs.
This facility was launched with the Space Discovery Center, an international educational facility that aims to promote the space industry for the younger generation.
According to an AAP news agency report, the Federal Government set aside AU $ 700 million for the Australian space sector, and increased it to $ 12 billion to create 20 thousand jobs in 2030.