How does microgravity affect the human body? And how can we counteract the negative effects? On Earth, bed rest studies are used to study the effects of microgravity on the human body in order to investigate reactions, effects and countermeasures. This DLR blog aims to allow the researchers conducting the bed rest studies, others involved in the study and of course the test participants to report on their experiences. Here, they share their impressions and experiences as well as their tasks during a DLR bed rest study.
SANS-CM is a bed rest study that is being conducted in 2021 and 2022 together with NASA. The study investigates negative pressure chambers that enclose the participants from the waist down and 'pull' their bodily fluids into the lower part of the body. In 2019, 12 subjects in the AGBRESA long-term bed rest study lay in bed tilted six degrees towards their heads for a full 60 days. Artificial gravity was tested as a possible measure against bone and muscle atrophy using the DLR short-arm centrifuge. The study was conducted by DLR in Cologne, in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Prior to this, DLR's Aerospace Medicine team in Cologne gathered findings from the VaPER bed rest study in 2017. You can find all DLR blog posts on the bed rest studies by searching the keyword 'bed rest study' in the search bar at the top.