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How do astronauts weigh themselves in space?

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Uploaded on June 21, 2019

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How do astronauts weigh themselves in space?

2019-06-21 - In space, astronauts lose muscle mass and bone density. It is important to monitor their health, and weighing them regularly is one of the ways to do it.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques shows us how astronauts weigh themselves in microgravity. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

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David Saint-Jacques: Once a month, we measure our weight. So how do you measure your weight in space since we don’t weigh much here in space, right? Well, you can actually still measure your mass, by measuring your momentum. And you do that by going on a swing, and measuring the frequency of your swing.

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Now look at this, this is how fast this was swinging when I was on it. If I start it, without me on it, it would be much lighter…look at that. It goes faster. So by measuring the frequency of oscillation, you know how heavy the object is. That’s how we measure our mass in space despite the effects… the absence of the effect of gravity.

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