SENER recognized with the ESA Group Achievement Award04/08/2011 (Spain)
The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded SENER the Group Achievement Award, in recognition of the work performed in preparing and executing operations in the ‘Increment 25 & 26’ missions, and for its contribution to ESA's accomplishments in the International Space Station (ISS).
SENER was awarded this accolade for its contributions to these ISS missions, where the MARES system was installed in the European Columbus module.
The Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES) was developed by ESA for researching and counteracting the effects of muscular atrophy caused by extended exposure of the human body to zero gravity environments, which can be seen in the astronaut’s muscular, neuromuscular and neurological physiology. MARES makes it possible to establish effective exercise protocols for the astronauts so they can combat the loss of power in their muscles and prevent osteoporosis due to losing calcium in their bones. The astronauts themselves can monitor the effectiveness of the gym routines they do while in orbit.
SENER has been in charge of the project management and the global design of the MARES system, as well as all the control, power and supervision electronics, the mechanical and structural parts and the software.
The results of the experiments with MARES will provide new data on the mechanisms of atrophy and a deeper understanding of the neuromuscular system. They are therefore expected to prove useful in other areas such as medical and sports rehabilitation, where patients with muscular atrophy produced by paralysis, trauma or prolonged immobilization are treated.