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Sleeping Provisions

Sleeping provisions for flight crew members consist of sleeping bags, sleep restraints or rigid sleep stations. The sleeping arrangements can consist of a mix of bags and sleep restraints or rigid sleep stations on a given mission. During a mission with one shift, all crew members sleep simultaneously. If all crew members sleep simultaneously, at least one crew member will wear a communication headset to ensure reception of ground calls and orbiter caution and warning alarms.

If sleeping bags are used, they are installed on the starboard middeck wall and deployed for use on orbit.

If the rigid sleep station is used on a mission, it is installed on the starboard side of the middeck. There are two types of rigid sleep stations. One sleep station type accommodates three crew members and the other accommodates four.

If the rigid sleep station is not installed for a mission, a sleeping bag is furnished each crew member. Each sleeping bag contains a support pad with adjustable restraining straps and a reversible/removable pillow and head restraint. Apollo sleeping bags may be provided for the crew members on request. The Apollo sleeping bag is constructed of beta material and is perforated for thermal comfort.

Six adjustable straps permit the sleeping bag to be adjusted to its proper configuration. Three helical springs above the adjustable straps on one side of the bay relieve loads exerted by the crew member on the crew compartment structure. Six pip pins allow the bag to be attached to the middeck locker face in either a horizontal or vertical configuration. Two elastic adjustable straps restrain the upper and lower parts of the body in the bag. Velcro strips on the ends of both sides of the head restraint attach it to the pillow. A double zipper arrangement permits the sleeping bag to be opened and closed from the bottom to the top of the bag. One zipper on each side of the sleeping bag allows the bag to be attached to a support pad for better rigidity.

The Apollo beta cloth sleeping bag has four adjustable straps with pip pins that are connected to any two lockers in the middeck separated by a distance equal to a four-tiered locker configuration. For torso restraint, a single two-piece strap is provided and a single zipper opens the bag. The bags are stowed in a middeck locker during launch and entry.

A sleep kit is provided for each crew member and is stowed in the crew member's clothing locker during launch and entry. Each kit contains eye covers and ear plugs for use as required during the sleep period.

The three- or four-tier rigid sleep stations contain a sleeping bag, personal stowage provisions, a light and a ventilation inlet and outlet in each of the tiers. The cotton sleeping bag is installed on the ground in each tier and held in place by six spring clips. The light in each tier is a single fluorescent fixture with a brightness control knob and an off position. The air ventilation inlet duct is an air diffuser similar to an automobile ventilation duct. It is adjusted by moving the vane control knob. The air ventilation outlet duct is located in the fixed panel at each tier and is opened or closed by moving the vane control knob. The air inlet is located at the crew member's head. The outlet is at the feet. All crew members' heads are toward the airlock and their feet toward the avionics bay.

In the three-tier configuration, the upper and middle crew members face the ceiling and the lower tier crew member faces the floor. The fixed panel at the lower sleep station is removable to provide access to the cabin debris trap door for cleaning the cabin filter, to gain access to floor locker MD76C and to enter the forward portion of the lower equipment bay to clean the avionics bay fan filter.

In the four-tier configuration, the bottom tier sleep restraint hookup provision allows the crew member to position himself at a 15-degree angle, which provides more room, or in the normal horizontal position. The sleeping bag, personal stowage provisions, light and ventilation inlet and outlet are the same as in the three-tier configuration. The head and feet orientations of the crew members are also the same as in the three-tier configuration. The lowest tier is removable so access can be obtained to the cabin debris trap door to clean the cabin filter, gain access to floor locker MD76C and enter the forward portion of the lower equipment bay to clean the avionics bay fan filter.

The three-tier rigid sleep station is made of plastic honeycomb panel and weighs approximately 205 pounds. The four-tier rigid sleep station is made of metal and weighs 173 pounds.

A 24-hour period is normally divided into an eight-hour sleep period and a 16-hour wake period for each crew member. Forty-five minutes are allocated for the crew members to prepare for the sleep period and another 45 minutes when they awake to wash and get ready for the day.


Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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