On the ISS, the Sun rises 16 times a day: Andreas Mogensen to use a Danish moon lamp

14. marts kl. 16:08
On the ISS, the Sun rises 16 times a day: Andreas Mogensen to use a Danish moon lamp
On his short mission in 2015, Andreas Mogensen slept in the “attic” of the European Columbus module. This summer, he will have his own sleeping cabin equipped with a Danish lamp. Illustration: ESA.
Astronauts use sleeping pills to sleep on the ISS. A Danish lamp that has been tested on a mission in Greenland may be able to put a stop to it.
Artiklen er ældre end 30 dage

A Danish lamp developed by SAGA Space Architects will be sent to the International Space Station together with Andreas Mogensen this summer.

The lamp is supposed to give the Danish astronaut a good sleeping experience during the six months he will spend in space.

It may turn out to be a necessary sleep aid.

Previous studies show that 75 percent of all astronauts have so much difficulty sleeping that they use sleeping pills.

Artiklen fortsætter efter annoncen

On average, an astronaut sleeps only six hours a day, although NASA recommends 8.5 hours.

There are many causes of sleep problems on the ISS. Electrical systems emit a constant noise throughout the station.

The weightlessness and the small cabins do not help either, and the feeling of isolation eats away at one’s psyche. There is also no natural circadian rhythm—the Sun rises and sets almost 16 times a day.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has long since observed that the lack of sleep affects the astronauts’ ability to concentrate.

Artiklen fortsætter efter annoncen

So sleep is something that ESA has a special focus on, especially because they want to go on longer missions to the Moon in a few years.

SAGA Space Architects’s lamp will attempt to help Andreas Mogensen establish a natural circadian rhythm.

The lamp will be set up in Andreas Mogensen’s sleeping cabin, and it uses seven different LEDs that are programmed to follow the astronaut’s work schedule.

The lamp emits different wavelengths of light depending on whether it is time to wake up or fall asleep.

In the morning, the lamp will imitate a sunrise. In the evening, it will simulate a sunset.

The light varies from day to day, just as the light on Earth varies according to changing weather conditions.

SAGA Space Architects has collaborated with a number of Danish and foreign companies and researchers to develop the lamp, called Circadian Light, which has been created with support from ESA and the Ministry of Education. The photo shows the co-founder and architect Sebastian Aristotelis testing the lamp.

Illustration: SAGA Space Architects.

An earlier version of the lamp has been tested on a 60-day mission in Greenland, during a simulated stay in the moon habitat Lunark.

Artiklen fortsætter efter annoncen

Two Danes, Sebastian Aristotelis and Karl-Johan Sørensen, spent 60 days in the moon habitat 1,000 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, in snowstorms and temperatures that reached minus 30 degrees.

During the expedition, the lamp helped provide the astronauts with a natural circadian rhythm and break the monotony of the constant darkness.

Psychological studies confirmed that the lamp seemed to give the residents more energy in daily life.

The lamp is not the only Danish contribution focused on giving Andreas Mogensen a comfortable experience in space during the Huginn mission.

DTU Space is also sending a project to the ISS focused on providing the astronaut with virtual reality experiences.

During his stay, Andreas Mogensen will ride an exercise bike developed by Danish Aerospace while wearing virtual reality glasses.

The training is part of a DTU Space project that will investigate whether a virtual bike ride, which is experienced as if it were on Earth, is more beneficial for Andreas Mogensen than a standard exercise.

Debatten er slået fra på dette indhold