The 2021 edition of the Tour de France was concluded on July 18, Sunday with Slovenian Tadej Pogačar defending his title. At the end of the last stage, Eurosport connected to the International Space Station (ISS) and it turned out astronauts aboard the orbiting laboratory were watching the Tour de France live.

Astronauts aboard the ISS were watching the Tour de France live
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were watching the Tour de France live. In the image above, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide is on a stationary bike and saying they were watching Tour de France live. Hoshide also explains why there is a stationary bike on the ISS. Next to him, the ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Why do astronauts excercise in space

In the microgravity environment, bone loss and kidney stones are well-known as essential problems for astronauts to overcome during extended stays in space. Hence, they engage in physical exercise for 2.5 hours a day, six times a week (15 hours a week) while in orbit to avoid these issues.

The bike aboard the International Space Station is basically a stationary bike. It fastened to one side of the ISS to make sure it doesn’t float away. Astronauts also use clipless pedals to stay connected with the pedals.

They wear heart rate monitors while riding the bike and then send the data down to Earth, so the experts trainers on Earth trainers can analyze it and optimize their exercising routine.

Sources

  • “Preventing Bone Loss in Spaceflight with Prophylactic use of Bisphosphonate: Health Promotion of the Elderly by Space Medicine Technologies” on the NASA website

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