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| less than a minute read

Space Sleeping Bag

An ingenious invention by Dr Benjamin Levine, at University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center; a sleeping bag to re-distribute blood flow around the body during sleep in spaceflight. What I admire most about this invention is its simplicity. It is reminiscent of a tank ventilator (i.e. an iron lung) in that it surrounds a portion of the body in a volume subjected to a different pressure to the remainder of the body. Often we think of space technology as fantastical electrical gizmos, but this invention is almost entirely mechanical, and just goes to show that there is so much left to develop in mechanical sector. 

As for patentability, I would certainly be minded to try for protection! It reminds my of a number of issues identified by my colleague Louise Mansion in this article for the Engineer. If patent protection is required it should be applied for in the territory of the state carrying out the spaceflight in question. Looks like a strong argument to go national in CN, US and RU!

Space sleeping bag to solve astronauts' squashed eyeball disorder