Lie me to the moon
Top image: still, ‘True Romance’ (1993) dir. Tony Scott
Are you female, between 24 and 55 and love lying in bed for days on end? If so, we’ve got the perfect job for you. NASA has put out an ad offering $18,500 for people to lie in bed for two months as part of its Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study.
Taking place at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine of the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne, Germany, the objective of the study is to better understand how the body changes in weightlessness. In order to qualify, you must be female, between 24 and 55 and able to speak German.
However, while an extended stay in bed may sound like bliss, once you get into the nitty-gritty of the study requirements it gets far less appealing: you’ll have to stay in bed 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 60 days straight; and ALL activities will be done while lying down – yes, that includes eating showering and going to the bathroom.
A team of nutritionists will curate the meals so that participants do not gain weight and have all the nutrients they need and volunteers will have a TV, reading material and other leisure activities to keep them from getting (too) bored.
The research will examine the muscle wasting that happens when astronauts spend a long time in space, as anyone who goes on the International Space Station must exercise regularly with resistance machines to protect themselves from muscle waste. The beds will be angled downwards towards the head end by six degrees in order to simulate the displacement of bodily fluids experienced by astronauts in a space shuttle.
“Both effects are similar to what astronauts experience in space,” said Leticia Vega, Associate Chief Scientist for International Collaborations for NASA’s Human Research Program. “Although the effects of weightlessness are primarily investigated on the International Space Station, analogues such [this study] are helpful when studying certain research topics under controlled conditions on Earth. These findings will later be validated on the ISS.”
Fancy it still? Find more information on the study here (in German).