The Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System, or Mares for short, is a muscle-measurement machine on the International Space Station that monitors astronauts’ muscles as they work out.
Muscle strength decreases during spaceflight and researchers need to know why this happens in order to prepare for long-duration missions and safe space tourism. Mares is a physiology instrument that offers detailed information about how muscles behave during spaceflight.
ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti with MARES on the International Space Station. Credits: ESA/NASA
Colleague ESA astronaut Samantha did an initial test-run during her Futura mission on the International Space Station earlier this year. She set up the machine and checked that the motors move as planned but did not take a place in the chair as an experiment subject.
Andreas will perform the second part of the Mares commissioning by deploying the machine in its Ankle Configuration to get data on his ankle movements. This run will validate the machine for more use for scientific experiments in the future.
Andreas will be the first astronaut to use the machine to take measurements in space on himself. Part of the experiment program includes giving small electrical shocks to Andreas’s muscles to better chart their ...