Assessment of Endurance Capacity by Gas Exchange and Heart Rate Kinetics During Physical Training (EKE) - 11.22.16

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ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Assessment of Endurance Capacity by Gas Exchange and Heart Rate Kinetics During Physical Training (EKE) is assessing crewmember fitness during extended missions with a view to developing a quicker method than currently used in space. Assessing crewmember fitness is extremely important in making sure that crewmembers are healthy during missions lasting many months and developing a quicker method of assessment will free up crewmembers to spend more time on other activities such as scientific research.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by U Hoffman, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
U Hoffman, Germany

Stefanos Fasoulas, Ph.D., University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Dieter Essfeld, Germany

Information Pending

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2009 - March 2013

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
EKE first began on ISS during Expedition 19/20.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Specific goals of EKE involves the development of a diagnostic tool for the assessment of endurance capacity from respiratory and cardiovascular kinetics in response to changes in exercise intensity, and the development of a physiological model to explore the delay and distortion of muscle VO2 signals during their travel to the lungs.

The preservation of aerobic capacity is a major goal of exercise countermeasures during weightlessness. A widely used measurement for endurance capacity is maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) determined by incremental exercise tests until exhaustion. A potential alternative method that will allow to at least reduce the frequency of such tests is to determine the dynamics of pulmonary oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate (HR) responses during changes in workload at mild to moderate exercise levels and to calculate muscular VO2 kinetics.

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Space Applications
Assessment of crewmember health and fitness (specifically their aerobic capacity) is a vital part of any mission, not only to secure the well-being of the crewmember in question, but also to secure the aims and goals of the mission such as undertaking scientific research. The EKE experiment should help to reduce the amount of time that is spent making this type of cardiopulmonary health assessment on long-duration missions (thus increasing the time available for research activities) by the development of an improved diagnostic method for the assessment of endurance capacity which is less time intensive than currently used method (VO2max).

Earth Applications
Data from this research will also help to improve our knowledge in general of the physiological mechanisms at work during the assessment of endurance capacity.  The improvement of diagnostic techniques in space could also lead to improved diagnostic techniques of endurance capacity on earth where VO2max is a standard technique.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Information Pending

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

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Related Websites

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