ISS – SLEEP KIT
a sleeping bag for zero gravity
Co-funded by the Austrian Space and Aerospace Agency of the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) in the frame of ASAP 7, 2012–2011LSG team
Waltraut Hoheneder, Barbara Imhof, Kaspar Vogel, Kjell HerrmannConsultants
Gerhard Thiele, astronaut at ESPI; Ulrich Kübler at EADS-AstriumSponsors
IBENA, Velcro GmbH, 3M, Eduard Kupfer, Sanders GmbH & Co. KG, Lenzing, Michael Schultes experimondeAbstract
The ISS – Sleep Kit is a sleeping bag developed for zero gravity and for use at the International Space Station ISS. LSG led the feasibility study and were the designers and engineers of the sleeping bag, working closely with astronaut, Gerhard Thiele; Safety and Testing consultants at EADS-Astrium and specialists in Space Medicine from McGill University.
The ISS – Sleep Kit is conceived as a countermeasure to fatigue; a problem that affects many astronauts leading to a decrement in alertness and performance and a cause of error. Although non pharmacologic methods may be used to alleviate symptoms of fatigue, difficulties may arise in sleep initiation and maintenance, such as poor sleep hygiene or circadian dyssynchrony.
A prototype of the sleeping bag has been fabricated using Nomex based textiles already used at the ISS and feed-back from the ESA has elevated the study to a level beyond mere feasibility. Current research in the area of medicine and psychology supports the study regarding near-term measures to be taken to improve the quality of sleep and help mitigating fatigue.
LSG and its collaborators wait for ESA to fly and test the sleeping bag in a mission to the ISS.
image foreground Bruno Stubenrauch, background courtesy of NASA