Working on the Moon
Working on the Moon

When an astronaut performs any tasks on the surface of the moon, the gravitational pull of the moon affects the body differently than if they performed the same work on Earth. NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is investigating this phenomenon in the largest human research study ever completed at Glenn.

Twenty two people, recruited from around Northeast Ohio, participated in a research investigation using an enhanced zero gravity locomotion simulator, located in the Exercise Countermeasures Laboratory at Glenn. The study, called called "Monitoring Bone Health by Daily Load Stimulus Measurement during Lunar Missions" included human subjects performing tasks in simulated lunar gravity.

The lunar work tasks are meant to simulate the motions and loading that astronauts may experience during a stay on the lunar surface. The goal of this study is to develop and validate a system that could be used during astronaut activities on the surface of another planet. The system would monitor the complete daily load stimulus to the lower extremities and interpret that information in relation to bone health.

Pictured is Jeff Fortuna (ZIN Technologies) demonstrating a lift and carry lunar work task that was developed for use in the study. This study is funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and is the result of a collaboration with the University of Washington. The principal investigator is Dr. Peter Cavanagh (University of Washington) and the co-investigator is Kelly Gilkey (NASA).

Image Credit: NASA
Bridget R. Caswell (Wyle Information Systems LLC)

Page Last Updated: August 2nd, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator