Love to lounge in bed and get paid for it? If you are German speaking, healthy and middle aged, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are ready to pay you $19,000 to lie in bed for two months.
The space agencies want Earth-bound volunteers to test how artificial gravity might help keep astronauts healthy in space, the CNET reported on Friday.
The prolonged bed rest is part of the “Artificial Gravity Bed Rest” study that launched this week into the effects of weightlessness on the human body.
The Phase-II, to be conducted by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) from September through December in Cologne, Germany, requires healthy as well as German speaking 12 men and 12 women aged between 24 and 55 years.
“We are interested in how to maintain the health and performance of man — in space and on Earth,” according to a statement translated from the DLR website for the project.
If astronauts are to live for long periods in space, or on the moon and Mars, science needs effective measures to counteract bone and muscle atrophy.
The 24 men and women will spend their days and nights in beds angled downward by six degrees, propped up with their feet at an incline above their heads, with one shoulder touching the mattress at all times, the report said.
This position reduces blood flow to the extremities, like astronauts in space experience.
While astronauts currently stick to an intense exercise regimen to stay strong, the bed rest study will for the first time investigate the use of a so-called short-arm human centrifuge to generate artificial gravity and force blood back in the extremities, CNET noted.
One group of study volunteers will be spun around in the centrifuge while the other group would not. The centrifugal force can be adjusted according to the subject’s size.
In addition to the 60 days required for bed rest, participants will stay an additional 29 days for acclimation and supervised recovery involving stretching, massage and physiotherapy, the report said.