Exactly 20 years ago today, our first CEVIS ergometer was installed on the International Space Station orbiting the Earth. Since then, CEVIS has been a reliable wingman for astronauts in space and has been used, on average 30 minutes every day by more than 170 different astronauts on the space station.
With 16 orbits around the Earth every day, each 42.650 kilometers long, it adds up to almost 5 billion kilometers (4.981.520.000 km) that our ergometers have travelled onboard ISS. Overall, it has been used by more than 170 different astronauts, among these, our very own Danish ESA-astronaut Andreas Mogensen.
CEVIS was developed by DAC’s talented engineers and has displayed an extreme durability and is therefore one of DAC’s greatest success stories.
It was with great anticipation that the first CEVIS was launched from Earth on March 28th, 2001 to take up permanent residence in space. It would take almost a month before it was operational on April 3rd, 2001 for the space stations second crew; Jury Usachov, James S. Voss and Susan Helms. Since then, it has been a reliably and steadfast part in the everyday life of the astronauts on ISS.
CEO Thomas A. E. Andersen, who has been a part of DAC since 1988, is incredibly proud:
“CEVIS is a shining example of what we at DAC strive for, in all we undertake. Equipment that, from idea to end-user, is thoroughly thought through, in regard to, precision, reliability, functionality and innovative software, which meets the end-users’ specific requirements. I am incredibly proud of the performance CEVIS has shown over time, which is completely aligned with our core values and quality policies.
CEVIS has, with its 20 years in space, shown that DAC – and Denmark – can develop and build extremely reliable equipment for space. Even though CEVIS is getting older, it is still hard-working every week. CEVIS can, however, look forward to retirement, when our new FERGO ergometer arrives on the Space Station.
Over timer, three CEVIS flight models have been launched to the International Space Station. They have also returned to Earth for a check-up and service in Odense, and each time, they have been within calibration. Today all three ergometers are back on-board ISS.
Despite the meticulous placement and monitoring of all equipment on ISS, CEVIS no. 1002 managed to disappear a few months ago. Luckily, it was located again the week before last, after a careful search, where the crew found it tucked away in the back of the PMM storage module.
DAC has been part of the journey all the way and continues to monitor the equipment from the control room in Odense when CEVIS is used for the astronaut’s regular health monitoring.
Hard at work
As an important part of the astronauts daily training, CEVIS is used continuously, as the astronauts must exercise at least two hours every day to stay in shape.
It is important for the astronauts to continuously keep the physical fitness, needed for the conditions of weightlessness found in space. The lack of the effects of gravity, makes the bone- and muscle mass drop and further weakens the muscles and cardiovascular system faster than on Earth.
On a weekly basis, the astronauts have used the ergometer 2-7 times for 30 to 90-minute sessions. This is the equivalent of CEVIS running on average for 30 minutes every day for the past 20 years. So, it’s safe to say that CEVIS has shown extreme reliability and stability.
Retirement is near
CEVIS is expected to retire within the coming years, where it will be replaced by DAC’s newest space ergometer FERGO (Flight ERGOmeter). The new ergometer is much like its predecessor, however, has many new features and a more modern design.
We thank CEVIS, NASA and especially the team behind, for many years of faithful service.
Are you interested in more detailed specifications, you can read more about CEVIS and FERGO on our website: Products - Danish Aerospace Company.
For further information: