In weightlessness, astronauts’ bodies lose muscle and bone density, eyes change, fluids shift to the brain and more – our bodies adapted to life on Earth and are not designed for spaceflight. Finding ways to stay healthy in orbit is a large part of human spaceflight research. The more test subjects the better, but sending people into space is expensive and hard.
Dry-immersion baths are used to recreate aspects of living in weightlessness on Earth. Similar to bath tubs, containers hold study participants in suspension for many days.
The studies benefit from placing less pressure on the body as volunteers are supported and suspended evenly in the tub, a condition that mimics the floating astronauts experience on the International Space Station.
The results from this type of research does not only benefit astronauts but has implications for people on Earth who are bedridden for long periods of time for example.