Whenever I travel, my runs tend to be more interesting and longer as I explore a new area. However, there’s one place I’ve never run – outer space. I thought it wasn’t possible until now.
With so many advances in technology and a plethora of space travel firms recruiting paying travelers, it turns out that Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, will soon be offering packages for runners who want to workout in the perfect vacuum of space.
Plenty of astronauts have gone on space walks, so going for a run isn’t much of a stretch. Thanks to a newly developed system that creates a gravitation field around the ship to keep objects from floating away, runners will be able to go outside untethered and put in some quality miles.
I talked to Tanisha Harrison, a SpaceX astronaut who has done testing in orbit. She says she’s had some great workouts.
“My first time I ran 30 miles in just under an hour. I was very happy, but felt I could go faster. The next day, I really gutted it out and covered 47 miles in almost the same time!”
When I asked if going through the motion of running while floating in space can make you go faster, she said that’s what it’s all about. However, she admitted asking for a stronger push out the hatch on her second space run.
When I remarked that I wouldn’t need to pack my running shoes, Tanisha said it wasn’t a good idea because the space suit is fairly basic. She said apparel has been developed for space runners. For example, shoes designed for interstellar workouts increase “traction” and prevent space debris getting inside your shoes. A wind breaker for solar wind is necessary, as is outer space sunscreen. A very important accessory is a very large, bright cape to prevent runner/UFO collisions.
Plans are in the works for several fun runs, a space-based track meet, and a marathon. If all goes well, SpaceX plans to submit a bid to host the 2036 Olympics about halfway between the earth and the moon.