3 May 2016

Spines in space

"Hot on the heels of Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station a local healthcare institution now is collaborating on its own mission that could impact the future of space travel as we know it. The Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) are to collaborate in a European Space Agency project lead by scientists at King’s College London in order to add their expertise in state-of- the-art spinal evaluation. The project centres around determination of the effect of a SkinSuit which aims to mitigate the spinal elongation and possibly also some of the musculoskeletal deconditioning that occurs to astronaut during space flight."*

Scholars from King's College London are working with AECC's High Performance Centre to test the SkinSuit for further space activities, and to track its effectiveness with the reduction of "spinal elongation and deterioration in the spine's extensor muscles," both of which are consequences of extended periods in zero gravity environments. Researchers are also assessing the possibility of using the SkinSuit for non-space related activities, such as  injury recovery for athletes or individuals who find themselves immobilised for long-periods as a result of trauma. The collaboration between King's and AECC will continue throughout the year, as the researchers continue to explore possible uses for the SkinSuit.

European Space Agency

European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen

*Copy and images with permission from AECC