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Spinning Space Bed

Keeping Astronauts healthy in space.
(+3, -3)
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One of the large problems with space travel is weightlessness, when your weightless your body tends to atrophy, hey use it or lose it. My idea is that astronauts should sleep in indivdual "tube beds" that spin them while they sleep, think of a laundry dryer, creating a small artifical gravity field, now firstly the spin wouldn't be so fast as to create 1G, but just enough to allow the body to repair some bone and muscle loss and renew the imune system, and since the astronaut would be rotating around the centre of the spin they wouldn't have to worry about variable gravity thoughout the body. If this works not only would it improve astronaut health but would give rise to the phrase "Put me on dry clean only and wake me in the morning."
Hirudinea, Jul 03 2009

NASA Artificial Gravity-Bed Rest Pilot Study. http://www.ncbi.nlm...gov/pubmed/18372684
Ain't Google wonderful ? [8th of 7, Jul 03 2009]

The sarcophagi from 2001 http://www.awardsda...008/06/eve-2001.jpg
Like this only more compact? [wagster, Jul 04 2009]


       Kind of Baked. Certainly under investigation <link>
8th of 7, Jul 03 2009

       Not a criticism, but some people will have problems with this. The smaller the radius of spin, the more people will have inner ear sensitivity issues with it.
MechE, Jul 04 2009

       To get the "bed" to balance, there's going to have to be an opposing mass to keep the forces on the bearings equal. The obvious scheme is to make a two-person chamber, where users are opposite one another, their weights forming a counterbalance, with a ballast tank at one side to correct for any difference in mass. When only one occupant is present, a water-filled bag of standard size takes the place of the second sleeper, menaing that the trimmer tank can be of manageable size.   

       Taking the basic dimensions of this two person bed as 2.5 metres long and 2 metres and diameter, how fast will it have to spin to give the occupants the sensation of 0.5 g ? Show your working. Write on both sides of the paper. A small prize may be given for the correct solution.
8th of 7, Jul 04 2009

       not a bed for people with backache then?
po, Jul 04 2009

       It could be - since the gravity is adjustable.
8th of 7, Jul 04 2009

       Baked - apart from the being asleep bit. Seen on one of the many space/science shows on satellite TV in 2 versions, one being electrically powered, the other one having 2 guys pedalling themselves around and around it.
kindachewy, Jul 04 2009

       I'm still clueless why people want spinning wheels for space-stations... what's wrong with a spinning sphere?: not *that* much more material required and most efficient usage of building material.   

       re: this idea: what [MechE} said: there's a minimum radius you need to avoid inner-ear related problems. I don't think it's just "some" people either.
FlyingToaster, Jul 05 2009

       The advantage of the classic toroidal space station design is that all the habitable space experiences about the same level of artificial gravity, being the same distance from the axis, within a few percent. With a spherical design, much of the interior volume and outer surface has low or negligible force applied, as a much larger proportion of the volume/surface is close to the axis of rotation.   

       A Rama-like cylinder is another approach. The outer surface is all under the same acceleration, but again, you end up pressurising a huge proportion of space - the interior - which is under lower g.   

       The toroid combines some of the strength and material-use efficiency of a sphere (via the circular cross section) with the largest habitable space experiencing a similar g.   

       Another approach is two separated masses linked by a long cable, one for example being the crew quarters, and the other being ancillary equipment.   

       This was all nutted out in the classic studies in the 1950s and '60s.
BunsenHoneydew, Jul 08 2009

       I still say we should just hollow out the moon and give it a spin.   

       [BH] ah I see, but think of the 0g and partial pressure studies area, not to mention the storage space and parking garage which variously don't need to be pressurized or weighted.
FlyingToaster, Jul 09 2009

       Sure. Those are available in the hub and radial arms of the torus design. It's just a question of how much space and material you want under how much g
BunsenHoneydew, Jul 09 2009

       [BunsenHoneydew], I haven't thrown any numbers at the problem (yet), but the spinning artificial gravity will also be acting on the internal atmosphere, so there will be a pressure gradient and the whole volume won't have to be 'static' pressurised.
Anyone out there know about gas centrifuges? (I'm not sure of the approach re: centrifugal forces and gas pressures...).
(Personally, I prefer the 'hemispherical-capped cylinder' design for a space habitat - good uniform gravity for living, but also a nice gradual slope to the 0g axis).
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 10 2009

       Spherical stations would (as spheres do) provide the highest amount of internal space with the minimal surface area, ie: best shielding against particle strikes. Of course I (still) imagine vast amounts of water to be orbited just on general principles if nothing else; an ice-sphere encased station complete with radiation free (shielded) parking and maintenance areas for shuttles and the like. Unpressurized except where necessary.   

       I don't think there's enough centrifugal force to worry about pressure change unless you're building a 5 mile wide station.   

       IMHO best'd be moonbases with centrifuged living/working(where applicable) quarters, supplying moon <> earth orbit weightless stations with personnel,rotated(no pun intended) say 3weeks lunar and 1 week orbital... but that's quite aways away.
FlyingToaster, Jul 10 2009

       //unless you're building a 5 mile wide station//
What, that small...?
Economies of scale; to actually work in a sustainable fashion, really big is better, but harder to do. (This is my unproven theory, anyway. I'll do some maths on it one day.)
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 10 2009


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