SpiraFlex Interim Resistive Exercise Device (iRED)
Inducted In: 2019, Consumer, Featured, Home, Recreation
Long stays in space, such as on the ISS, take a toll on the human body, as muscles atrophy and bones weaken and lose minerals. Astronauts have long used exercise equipment to help mitigate the effects of microgravity on their bodies. But as NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid found in 1996 after a six-month stay on the Mir space station, the station’s stationary bike and treadmill were insufficient to prevent muscle and bone loss. A resistive exercise device was needed. The challenge was that the best solution on Earth was weight training but that required gravity.
Before the first crew arrived on the ISS, NASA required a more effective countermeasure for muscular-skeletal degradation. Working with NASA Johnson Space Center’s Life Sciences and engineering teams, SpiraFlex Inc. created the Interim Resistive Exercise Device (iRED). Using their patented SpiraFlex technology of molded elastomeric spiral disks. Once connected to a spiral pulley, the discs provided linear resistance up to 300 lbs. While on-orbit, crew members could complete daily exercise protocols, including squats to load the spine, hips, and legs, which are most affected by microgravity. A NASA sponsored 16-week study showed that the SpiraFlex iRED provided comparable results to using free-weights. iRED was the first resistive exercise system built specifically for space. It was installed on the ISS in 2000 with the first long-duration crew. It proved so effective it was used on the station until 2009 when the vibration isolated Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) was ready.
The patent owner, Paul Francis, assigned his patents to SpiraFlex Inc., which in turn licensed the technology to Nautilus Inc., who has since developed and markets their Bowflex Revolution home gym, and to OYO Fitness LLC. Today OYO Fitness has developed and markets, OYO Personal Gym for individual use. The primary advantage of using SpiraFlex technology on Earth is that users can obtain the same benefits of weight training without the need for heavy cumbersome weights and related equipment. Lessons and technologies proven in space, can make for healthier lives on-orbit and on Earth.
Nature’s Fynd and Liquid-Air Interface Fermentation
Inducted In: Consumer
Nature’s Fynd is a food company currently producing commercial meat and dairy substitute products. The protein-rich food is produced from a microbe originally discovered in geothermal springs in Yellowstone National Park. Researcher Dr. Mark Kozubal discovered this fungal microbe…
Original Astronaut Space Pen
Inducted In: Consumer, Featured, Home, Recreation
If there is one model of space pens that single-handedly launched Fisher Space Pen into space, that would be the AG7 – Original Astronaut Space Pen. The creation of this pen took thousands of failed experiments, personal investment of hard-earned…
Scratch Resistant Lenses
Inducted In: Consumer, Home, Recreation
For decades, ground and polished glass had been the preferred lens in the eyeglass industry. That changed in 1972 when the Food and Drug Administration issued a regulation that all sunglasses and prescription lenses must be shatter-resistant. The main disadvantage…