Shuttle-Mir Stories

Astronaut Shannon Lucid exercising on the treadmill in Mir's Base Block

Lucid on Physical Exercise

During spaceflight, astronauts and cosmonauts must exercise to maintain muscle tone and bone mass. U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid talks about her exercise program aboard the Mir.

She says, "We did the exercise plan that the Russians ... [had] developed over the years that they've been flying long-duration space flights." These were different exercises, done over three days' time.

"Then the fourth day," Lucid says, "is an easy day; you do just what you want. I basically just went just down their [exercise] form and I did just what their form called for .. using the treadmill and expanders, which are like bungee cords..."

According to Lucid, the time of day for exercise generally "depended on when the ground scheduled it, but, generally, the way that it worked best was when all three of us could be exercising at the same time, say like just before lunch. ... {There] were two treadmills onboard and there was an ergometer, and so we would be using all three pieces of equipment. We would all be doing our exercise, and then we'd clean up and then we'd come to base block and have lunch. That's what worked out best when we could do it like that, because then we weren't in each other's way. For instance, if somebody had been in the base block trying to use the treadmill, and someone else was trying to do some useful work, they couldn't have done it. So this way, when everybody was exercising at the same time, was the most efficient way of using the space available."

Related Links:
Life on Mir
Long-Duration Spaceflight
Lucid in Scientific American
Lucid Increment
Profile: Shannon Lucid
Shannon Lucid Oral History (PDF)


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