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Bed-rest study

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How does weightlessness affect the human body? And how can we counteract the negative effects? Bed-rest studies here on Earth are used to study the effects of weightlessness on the human body, in order to investigate reactions, effects and countermeasures. AGBRESA, the long-term bed-rest study that began in March 2019, involves 12 test participants lying for 60 days in beds angled downwards towards the head end by six degrees. The study is being conducted by DLR in Cologne – in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US space agency NASA.
This blog aims to allow researchers, those involved in the study and of course the test participants to report on the experiences and tasks that they will share and perform during the 60-day bed-rest study.

The AGBRESA study features two campaigns, with the first test participants arriving on 25 March 2019, followed by a second campaign in early September. The researchers are still seeking volunteers for the second phase in the autumn, especially women, because the aim is to acquire insights for all future astronauts, both male and female. Bed-rest studies are essential in space medicine research, in order to simulate the effect of weightlessness on the human body on Earth. Most recently, the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne used this model to acquire knowledge during the VaPER study in 2017.

Posts from Bed-rest-study

Space | 06. June 2019

AGBRESA – A participant's tale: Reaching the finishing line through sheer will power

HDT 47. Forty-seventh day of bedrest. Another 13 days – and what's left of today. Yesterday I spoke with my wife on the phone. She still can't imagine what would possess a person to volunteer for 60 days in bed without even a pillow. “Do you never feel the urge to get up?” she asks. One of the support staff asked me a similar question just recently. With less than two weeks of bedrest left on the schedule it seems an apt time to answer this question. My summary is simple: it was exactly the way I imagined. read more

Space | 29. May 2019

AGBRESA: Gedanken eines terrestrischen Astronauten

Ich sah zum Fenster und wusste, dass etwas anders war.... Dieser Blogbeitrag stammt von unserem Probanden E, einem Teilnehmer der laufenden AGBRESA-Studie, der in seinem irdischen Leben Schriftsteller ist. read more

Space | 28. May 2019

AGBRESA – terrestrial astronauts’ experiences of training on the centrifuge

The AGBRESA study is the first to explore using the DLR short-arm human centrifuge as a possible mitigation for the negative effects of weightlessness, which are being simulated by bed rest. This involves eight of the 12 terrestrial astronauts – the AGBRESA bedrest study participants – spinning in the centrifuge for 30 minutes every day. To allow them to experience artificial gravity they adopt a specific position – supine with heads pointed inwards – which exposes their feet to two g (twice Earth gravity) and the centre of gravity of their bodies to one g (Earth gravity). This could become a training method for future long-term missions in space. By the end of their 60 days of bed rest, the participants will have spent 1800 minutes on the centrifuge and will have rotated 54,000 times! read more

Space | 30. April 2019

AGBRESA – a terrestrial astronaut's diary

Today is 29 April. I was last outdoors enjoying the fresh air and my last rays of sunshine on 29 March. This means that I have now been here for a month, including 17 days of lying down. So, as of today, the first third of the study is behind me and I will soon have completed one third of the lying down phase! Although all of us here are looking forward to the end of our bed-rest, I am already sure that we will all miss this adventure and will never forget it. read more