At the recent Paralympics 2008, Wojtek Czyz jumped 6.50 meters, setting a new world record. He made jump on a prosthetic leg equipped with a bracket made from materials developed by the European Space Agency for the International Space Station. From the ESA Portal:
"The objective was to see how to improve his performance, and we found the most important problem was related to a connection angle, the so-called L-bracket, between the knee joint and the foot module," explains Dr Werner Dupont, MST Aerospace Managing Director.Space tech helps to reach long-jump world record
Czyz testing space tech prosthesis "In collaboration with the German company ISATEC, we developed a new L-bracket using materials originating from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), an instrument that will be mounted on the International Space Station to study extraterrestrial anti-matter, matter and missing matter."
The advantage of these space materials is that they are extremely strong and at the same time lighter than conventional products available, both important advantages for top athletes’ performance. The problem with Czyz’ previous prosthesis was that it tended to break when he performed to the maximum of his capacity.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.