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Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2014 Nov 1;203:19-27. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2014.08.007. Epub 2014 Aug 25.

Relationship between simulated extravehicular activity tasks and measurements of physical performance.

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Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA; Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA.
Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA.


The purpose was to evaluate the relationships between tests of fitness and two activities that simulate components of Lunar- and Martian-based extravehicular activities (EVA). Seventy-one subjects completed two field tests: a physical abilities test and a 10km Walkback test. The relationships between test times and the following parameters were determined: running V˙O2max, gas exchange threshold (GET), speed at V˙O2max (s-V˙O2max), highest sustainable rate of aerobic metabolism [critical speed (CS)], and the finite distance that could be covered above CS (D'): arm cranking V˙O2peak, GET, critical power (CP), and the finite work that can be performed above CP (W'). CS, running V˙O2max, s-V˙O2max, and arm cranking V˙O2peak had the highest correlations with the physical abilities field test (r=0.66-0.82, P<0.001). For the 10km Walkback, CS, s-V˙O2max, and running V˙O2max were significant predictors (r=0.64-0.85, P<0.001). CS and to a lesser extent V˙O2max are most strongly associated with tasks that simulate aspects of EVA performance, highlighting CS as a method for evaluating astronaut physical capacity.


Critical speed; Endurance performance; Extravehicular activity

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