LIFTING A WEIGHT MILLION TIMES?

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MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - Very soon crewmen of the International Space Station may have to increase the intensity of power lifting training on earth relying on the experience of weight lifters, the daily Moskovski Komsomolets writes.

Specialists from the state research centre Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences say that, despite their regular pre-flight and simulator training, ISS crewmen are haunted by the loss of endurance in zero gravity. The most of strength is lost during space walks, when physical load is complemented by stress.

Scientists have long been looking for ways to combat fatigue in orbit. Specialists from the Institute will soon stage a unique experiment, combining "non-terrestrial" load and stress. Instead of a cosmonaut, well-known weight lifter Vladimir Savelyev will take part. During 100 days he will have to raise a 24-kilogramme weight more than a million times. It will be an almost non-stop operation during ten to twelve hours a day at hourly ten-minute technical breaks. If Savelyev proves that after the power lifting marathon his nervous and physical system is OK, the method may be used for preparing a cosmonaut training programme.

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