NASA LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO LAY IN BED FOR 70 DAYS

October 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

sleep test

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You could file this one under bizarre, but totally legit.

NASA is currently looking for volunteers to lie in bed for 70 days.

That’s right, you could get paid a total of around $18,000 for lying in bed, playing games on your phone, reading books, skyping with your friends and family, taking online classes – and even go on with your day job if you can get away with working remotely, so long as you don’t get out of bed for that entire duration.

And, for those with relinquished childhood dreams about being an astronaut, there may be an altruistic element to participating in the project: in doing so, you’re actually helping the country further conquer the final frontier – space. In a few years, when astronauts land on Mars, test subjects may be able to say they helped get them there. “Subjects in the study look at it as a way to help,” says Dr Roni Cromwell, senior scientist on the bed rest study. “In that what we eventually do will help astronauts maintain their health while in space.”

On a call with Houston (always wanted to say that), I was able to elicit further details from NASA’s news chief, Kelly Humphries and the two scientists involved in the bed rest study.

Here comes the science bit.

The purpose of the study is to research the effects of microgravity on the human body. The study simulates the effects of long-duration spaceflight by having test subjects lie in beds for the 70 day period. The beds are tilted head-down at a six-degree angle. According to Dr Cromwell, this tilt which causes body fluids to shift to the upper part of the body, sets off cardiovascular events that are similar to what we see in a space flight.

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