The sleepiness of astronauts may be impossible for long-distance missions

hibernation astronautes inspiree ours pourrait revolutionner missions spatiales

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In a previous study, the European Space Agency (ESA) considered the sleepiness of astronauts as a possibility for long-term missions. Induced sleepiness or “overwintering” to use the correct word About the bear, Which encouraged the system, especially to reduce energy requirements. But is it really possible? Chilean researchers argue that the savings made have not been accurately calculated until now. By comparing the energy storage and expenditure of different mammals during sleep, they suggest that – from a metabolic point of view – humans are unlikely to sustain decades of space travel.

The body finds its metabolism slowing down to achieve storage of oxygen, food and water by keeping it in a dorphor (dormant) or dormant state. During a long flight, this can be of considerable benefit; Especially since such a trip is needed. ” About 30 kg per day for an astronaut, and we have to take into account the radiation and mental and physical challenges. “It simply came to our notice then In a press release Jennifer Enco-Ann, Payload Coordinator at Human and Robotics Research and ESA.

Although hibernation has been described as a natural state and adaptive energy-saving technique experienced by many mammals, Chilean researchers have studied in detail the relationship between mammalian body mass and energy expenditure. According to them, the calculation will be useful to determine ” Limit the amount of life expectancy or dormancy of hypothetical astronauts in space becoming ineffective “.

Only small mammals store energy during sleep

The results of the study are surprising: on average, sleeping small mammals tend to store more energy than larger animals. For example, the small 45 gram marsupial saves 76% of its energy during sleep compared to its normal active state. Brown Bad and Pygmy Oboss can reduce their natural energy levels by up to 98% during sleep! With the bear as the main sleeping mammal in mind, it actually weighs only 70 grams on average.

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Conversely, large bears do not store energy during sleep, but rather lose it. For example, a Grizzly achieves 124% negative energy savings. Even a small bear (75 kg) does not feel any increase in energy during sleep, compared to normal sleep.

It should be noted that during their normal activity or sleep, small animals burn more energy than large ones to maintain their body temperature. But regardless of body size, everything seems the same in sleep. ” We estimated the daily energy expenditure level of sleep, and found that it measures isometric scales with mass. Write researchers in their study. “One gram of bat bat contains 20,000 times the metabolism of one gram of bear. “.

So this is a very important benefit for small creatures and does not cause much interest for large creatures like bears and humans. According to this study, artificially induced sleep in humans does not save the astronaut more energy than normal sleep.

Thus, small mammals can easily reap the benefits of sleep through stored energy reserves in muscle and fat, while humans cannot do that. Even if we consider it, space travel cannot last more than a few short years because fat loss can be significant. According to the study, sleeping in space requires 6.3 grams of fat per day, which is 204 kg for a 90-year journey.

Source: Activities of the Royal Society b.

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