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Parabolic flight research conducted by the lab has recently been shown on a local BBC Look North television programme.

In early summer 2018 Professor Nick Caplan led a research team to conduct spinal research in reduced gravity.  The team traveled to Bordeaux France and the Novespace parabolic flight centre where they took part in several flights in which low gravity was simulated down to as low as 25% of normal Earth gravity.  Over a period of one week, the team completed 93 parabolas across three flights.  The research was also filmed for a local BBC news programme and featured during a main news bulletin in mid October 2018.  You can watch the feature in the video below. The team hopes their research, which was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and funded by the UK Space Agency, will benefit the global aims of putting humans on the Moon again, as well as longer-term goals of humans colonising Mars. Professor Nick Caplan, Professor of Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northumbria University, said: “Following current missions to the International Space Station, astronauts return to Earth in a physiologically deconditioned state, where they have immediate access to medical support.  When astronauts travel to Mars, they will arrive with deconditioned bodies, with limited access to medical support. We need to develop effective countermeasures to tackle this deconditioning, to make sure astronauts stay fit and healthy.” This study is one of a series where Northumbria University has collaborated with the European Space Agency's Space Medicine Office to look at spinal muscle health.