The newest version of the space-reliable ergometer from Danish Aerospace Company A/S, FERGO, is set to launch to the International Space Station on August 1st (August 2nd DK time). FERGO will join Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen on the Huginn Mission and is included in one of Mogensen’s experiments for the Danish Aerospace Company.
FERGO (Flight Ergometer) will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus spacecraft of Northrop Grumann’s commercial resupply mission for NASA. Launch is schedueled for Tuesday, August 1st, 2023, at 20:30 EDT (August 2nd, 2023, at 02:30 DK time).
Upgrading crucial equipment
Exercise is extremely important for astronauts posted on the ISS for longer time, as it helps them maintain normal muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in the microgravity environment. The exercise gear onboard the space station is considered crucial equipment and must be built to last.
These are some of FERGO’s features:
- Smaller and lighter than CEVIS
- Loads up to 500W
- Time synchronizes to ISS time
- Integrated LCD touchscreen for electronic control and readings
- Connects to external devices and integrates real-time data via Bluetooth, e.g. HR, BP, ECG
- Manual knob enables use without power
- Automatic data downlink to ground
- Software and prescriptions can be upgraded from ground
- Pedal speed increased to 140-150 rpm (up to 255 at lower watts).
Yet technology moves fast, so despite its more than 20 years of reliable service, CEVIS now deserves an upgrade, and its soon-to-be replacement offers a wide array of improvements.
As the FERGO ergometer will be launched just before Andreas Mogensen’s Huginn Mission for the European Space Agency, there is a high probability that he will be involved in its instalment. Furthermore, he will be the first ESA astronaut to use the new Danish space ergometer.
Combining exercise with Virtual Reality
Besides improving ergometer exercise possibilities onboard the ISS, FERGO is also central to one of the experiments that ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen will conduct for the Danish Aerospace Company during his six-month stay on the station. The experiment combines Virtual Reality (VR) with exercise to create an immersive experience for the astronauts to train in. Pre-recorded videos will be uploaded to the space station, and the intensity of FERGO will be adjusted to mimic the intensity of the terrain from the videos. The experiment will evaluate the impact on the astronauts’ exercise motivation and overall mental health.
Pride in their proficiency
Danish Aerospace Company has provided 3,2 ton of hardware for use in space since 1993. With 34 years of experience in space engineering, the company has cemented its expertise and dedication.
“We are very proud to continue the delivery of equipment vital to the astronauts’ health and fitness aboard the ISS,” says CEO of Danish Aerospace Company, Thomas A. E. Andersen. “This trust in our technologies confirms our specialization as well as our abilities, and it inspires us to keep developing and optimizing products for use in space and other extreme environments.”
“The 20+ years of CEVIS has proven the durability of our products, but it is also a great joy to provide the next-generation ergometer with FERGO, which includes up-to-date hard- and software, ensuring smoother interfacing and generally enhancing the exercise experience in space,” Thomas A. E. Andersen comments.
On Andreas Mogensen’s mission and experiments, Thomas A. E. Andersen says: “We are very excited to follow Andreas Mogensen’s mission beginning this August. He is an extremely capable astronaut, and we are thrilled that he will spend some of his valuable time onboard the ISS testing and evaluating our technologies.”
For further information:
Thomas A. E. Andersen, CEO, Danish Aerospace Company A/S