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Astronaut Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation

astronaut excercising
NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, Expedition 40 flight engineer, gets a workout on the advanced Resistive Exercise Device (aRED) in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station.

Building Physical Resiliency in Astronauts

The Astronaut Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation (ASCR) group is comprised of certified strength and conditioning professionals, certified/licensed athletic trainers, and physical therapists.  Their mission is to optimize the performance, durability, and sustainability of the Astronaut corps by utilizing an interdisciplinary approach towards enhancing physical readiness as Astronauts train for, live in and return from space.  The ASCR group provides a full scope of physical training and musculoskeletal medicine services and collaborates with various groups within JSC and the local community to provide an evidence-based approach to optimizing performance for all astronauts and other mission-critical personnel. During a mission, the ASCR group provides pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight mission support to crew, including exercise hardware training, exercise prescription, post flight reconditioning, and musculoskeletal care.

Fun Fact: Although there are only three pieces of exercise equipment used regularly by NASA astronauts onboard ISS, ARED, CEVIS, and T2, there are many modes of exercises and equipment used on the ground to prepare astronauts for flight and adapting back to 1G post-flight.



Astronaut Suni Williams Excercises on Treadmill
NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, equipped with a bungee harness, exercises on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station.

Support to Multiple Programs

The ASCR group supports several organizations within NASA such as the Flight Operations Directorate, The Aircraft Operation Division, the Crew Health, and Safety Program, the Human Research Program (HRP), and the International Space Station (ISS) Program. As part of a complete Human Performance and Optimization program, the ASCR group works in collaboration with NASA Flight Surgeons, Behavioral Health and Performance, Nutrition, and Biomedical Research to maximize the Astronaut’s physical and mental resiliency. 

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren uses the ARED
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren uses the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED).

Involvement in Research

The ASCR group supports and develops research and collaboration projects from groups within the NASA community and abroad! 

Our Facility

The Columbia Center for Human Performance and Research is home to the astronaut gym, Natatorium, the Countermeasures Systems Flight Hardware Training Room, and the Biomedical Laboratory.  The facility also includes separate therapy space and exam rooms.    

Points of Contact

Bruce Nieschwitz, LAT, ATC
Christi Keeler, MS, LAT, ATC
Corey Twine, MS, SCCC, CSCS
Danielle Anderson DPT, DSc, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPT



Last Updated
Aug 15, 2023
Robert E. Lewis