back to article Gonna be so cool when we finally get into space, float among the stars, work out every day, inject testosterone...

Surviving in zero gravity takes its toll on the human body. Muscular atrophy sets in, and astronauts should not only exercise regularly but consider taking testosterone shots too, according to new research. In a NASA-funded project, 24 fellas were ordered to stay in bed for 70 days. That may sound nice and relaxing at first, …

  1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Joke

    They have to ... lift weights

    ...in an near weightless environment. I'm in!

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Joke

      MASSive fail. :)

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Strictly speaking they are not lifting anything that we would describe as weights. All forces are generated by pressure differentials in the device (aRED).

      1. Sleep deprived

        Pressure differentials?

        Like just pulling/pushing against elastic bands?

    3. Hemmels

      Hahaha! My first though was "running, how does that work", but your thought is better.

  2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Testosterone injections

    Women are well and truly screwed by this research then. Become infertile if you want to retain your muscle mass.

    1. cb7

      Re: Testosterone injections

      It's all part of the plan. You don't have to worry about getting pregnant and delivering babies on long space missions. :-D

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        You can't get pregnant in space, because the guy has no way to get an erection.

        In order to become erect, blood needs to pool in the loins, action which can only happen in a gravity well. So, no hanky-panky in space, sorry.

        1. jmch Silver badge
          Devil

          "In order to become erect, blood needs to pool in the loins, action which can only happen in a gravity well. So, no hanky-panky in space, sorry."

          Erm... you don't have much experience with this 'sex' thing do you?

          1. m0rt Silver badge

            Done a lot of online courses though...

            1. JJKing Silver badge
              Happy

              Done Watched a lot of online courses though...

              FTFY

        2. Holtsmark

          "You can't get pregnant in space, because the guy has no way to get an erection"

          You might want to read "Riding Rockets" by Mike Mullane. Apart from being an extremely entertaining book, it puts your fears of lack of girder rigidity due to lack of percievable gravity very much at rest.

        3. phuzz Silver badge

          "In order to become erect, blood needs to pool in the loins"

          In that case how can I get an erection when I'm upside-down? Or why doesn't the blood just pool in my feet when I'm stood up, come to that?

          1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            @phuzz: "n that case how can I get an erection when I'm upside-down?"

            Indeed, I had a girlfriend once who was determined to tick off all the positions listed in the 400 question version of 'The Purity Test', and upside down was one of them. Mind you I was a teenager, and I got a boner if the wind changed direction.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              As a teenager, I got one whether the wind changed direction or not. Heck! Even if there was no wind at all.

          2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

            @phuzz

            Not that I have much doubts. After all, even Down Under they procreate. But the need of doing so upside-down didn't regulary occur to me. You seem to have gained some niche experience - can you please elaborate?

          3. Nick Kew Silver badge

            Never mind upside-down: you've still got gravity (though I confess I've not tried, even when I had the girlfriend who was a karma sutra fan). How many of us have never performed in the weightlessness of being in water?

        4. Stork Silver badge

          My experience may be unusual, but I have experienced erections while lying down...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            but I have experienced erections while lying down...

            So have my girlfriends...

        5. JLV Silver badge

          Totally true. Which is why people can’t have sex while laying down or in bed.

          Oh, wait...

        6. mrobaer
          Thumb Up

          Upvote for the effective trolling. :)

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Testosterone injections

      Thats still up in the air (pardon the pun). Not including women in the experiment seems rather short sighted - ok its another variable to control for but the results could have potentially been more interesting. Like for instance - do women lose muscle mass at the same rate as men>

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Testosterone injections

        That probably will be the subject of another test, but first a grant request needs to be made and approved.

        On the serious side, it probably should be a separate study as there's enough difference in the sexes (the two most prevalent, not the 147 "other" sexes some people believe in) that testing should be separate.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Testosterone injections

        Considering the combinations they tested, I was surprised they didn't do a group with testosterone injections and no exercise so what the difference might be between those with testosterone injections + exercise.

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Testosterone injections

      Um, does testosterone make women infertile? How much of it? It's a naturally-occurring hormone in women too, they just have less of it than men. And even that is only statistical - like height, or prowess in a range of activities some of them linked to testosterone.

  3. Dave 15

    Missing test

    Why did they not give one group the chance to lie around in bed with testosterone injections... or were they worried about the build up of one muscle at the expense of others?

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Missing test

      It's a good question, it might be that just taking testosterone keeps muscle mass, with no exercise needed, but they haven't tested for that (yet?).

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Missing test

        I wonder... I knew a guy years ago that was on "roids" and then he went on vacation with out working out. He became one truly fat slob, it took him over a year to get back to his previous build.

        Would the bed ridden testosterone takers just get fat?

        1. david 12 Bronze badge

          Re: Missing test

          Curious if he also took a vacation from the speed/amphetamines (diet pills) that they use to get the 'ripped' look (and perhaps to carry them through the mindless repetitions).

          Carrying speed through customs is problematic, and he may not wanted to continue that part of his regime while on holiday.

          Unrelated note: it's called 'roid rage' but the symptoms match speed intoxication and withdrawal.

  4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    "I'm going to inject you, Dave"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Open the pod bay doors first, HAL!

  5. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

    Bollocks to that!

    You need huge balls to sit on top of a giant firework assembled from parts made by the lowest bidders... to counteract the atrophy from testosterone injections.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Bollocks to that!

      "You need huge balls to sit on top of a giant firework assembled from parts made by the lowest bidders..."

      Or a damned good sports bra and your best pair of big-girl knickers.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Bollocks to that!

        Or a damned good sports bra and your best pair of big-girl knickers.

        Wouldn't that make more of a slingshot than a firework?

  6. jmch Silver badge
    Devil

    Seven

    "lying around and doing virtually nothing all day weakens muscles, and over time they waste away"

    as anyone who watched 7even will know

  7. chuckufarley

    A funding source check is needed..

    ...because I suspect these people are getting money for their studies from steroid manufactures.

  8. ukgnome

    How long before screenplay writers use this as a sci-fi trope

    And NO, Doom doesn't count.

  9. Hairy Spod
    Holmes

    Total waste of money

    What, we are saying that people who take testosterone and excercize put on more muscle??!!!!!!!!!!shift1!!!!!

    Some one better tell the gym and body building industry quick, there's a fortune to be made.

    If only Arnie had access to such knowlege earlier on in his career

  10. AndrewV

    There's a much easier way. You can get testosterone patches.

    I use them to counteract the muscle loss of being quadriplegic (the outcomes are very similar to living in microgravity).

    This kind of research has benefited me greatly e.g. NASA's studies into the formation of renal stones when you stop weight bearing exercises.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, dermal absorption was about my first thought when the author mentioned needles.

      First off, if there was a need for regular injections they would set a port. A small one as used in hospital if it was about small, irregular injections, or a major subcutaneous one (aka a central venous catheter) as used in cancer treatment for more voluminous amounts of fluid.

      Secondly, yes, needles are bad news because it requires very precise manipulation and you may not have that luxury. A derm patch works better, requires less post event healing and doesn't require medical expertise to get it right.

      1. Duffy Moon

        "needles are bad news because it requires very precise manipulation"

        Testosterone is injected intramuscularly, which is about as precise as throwing a dart at yourself. Still, the possibility of drops of blood/testosterone floating around and getting into the equipment is probably something they'd want to avoid.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Holmes

          We dread to think what fiddling around with needles in space is like.

          Nurse Chappel- the hypospray, please!

          1. Zebo-the-Fat

            Re: We dread to think what fiddling around with needles in space is like.

            You might feel a little prick!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: We dread to think what fiddling around with needles in space is like.

              .. but enough about Nigel Farage..

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Happy

      That it benefits you directly makes me like space science even more.

    3. Twilight

      Injections are much more consistent. Dermal absorption of testosterone varies widely between individuals (my skin does not absorb testosterone well at all).

  11. fishman

    Testosterone shots?

    Space:

    Where men are men

    And the women are, too.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      But what about the small blue furry creatures from Alpha Centauri?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        But what about the small blue furry creatures from Alpha Centauri?

        They are growing bigger and more furry...

      2. Chemist

        "But what about the small blue furry creatures from Alpha Centauri?"

        They're small blue furry creatures from Alpha Centauri? . But you knew that really having read the fine manual.

        Thanks Douglas

  12. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Any side effects ...

    ... from the hormone shots? Like (aste)roid rage?

    1. Ernie Mercer

      Re: Any side effects ...

      No. It's replacement therapy, to restore testosterone to normal levels.

      On Earth, the shots are given once or twice a month.

      1. Twilight

        Re: Any side effects ...

        Or more frequently in smaller doses. The closer together the shots, the less variance in testosterone levels. Anything less often than once per week and you get fairly large swings in level.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the family robinson..

    .. mom and dad have beards.

    1. james_smith

      Re: the family robinson..

      And if your Dad doesn't have a beard, then you've got two Mums.

  14. Nolveys Silver badge
    Windows

    The real answer is...

    ...spin the drum!

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