Karen Sharwood - February 06, 2002: Biomedical Problems Institute - Today Dale and I met with the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in
Moscow. They are responsible for most of scientific research and development
that goes on from the Russian side on the ISS. The name sounds really
bizarre and did have me a little concerned at first, but they really are a
great bunch and very helpful.
The meeting didn't get off to a great start after we arrived an hour late
after sitting in the Moscow traffic for 2 hours from Star City. Not sure
just how much carbon monoxide inhalation is required before serious medical
consequences appear, but at the rate that we are going, I have a feeling it
may be soon! The amount of cars on the road and the 24 hours of traffic jams
is really quite something. Anyway, our meeting was relatively short, which
was surprising seeing as both Dale and I were expecting another all day
affair. I met with whom the Russians refer to as the "grandfather" and
"grandmother" of exercise training in space. Both Victor and Enessa were
phenomenal and gave me so much help with the design of the exercises that
Mark will be doing while on the ISS, which has now been finalized. I also
had the opportunity to have a look at the laboratory in the department of
sensory motor physiology and countermeasures at IBMP, which was awesome.
They have just developed a piece of equipment that consists of a treadmill,
a cycle ergometer and an upper body resistance component all in one. The
best thing about it was that when folded up, it was only about 1 meter by 1
meter, so really compact and space saving (excuse the pun). Something every
home should have! I was really fascinated by the work that was going on in
there and felt so at home with exercise physiologists. It felt great to be
able to discuss issues that had been bothering me with fellow academics who
seemed genuinely interested in my ideas and helping out where they could.
Managed to sit through another 2 hours of traffic (!!) on the way home and
then prepared for another slave driving exercise session with Mark. Tonight
we did 30 minutes on the treadmill, followed by a 10 minute cool down on the
bike. We have been doing mostly lower body strengthening exercises, so
tonight we focused more on abdominals, chest and upper body. As for Dale who
keeps on promising to start exercising, don't believe a word he says...