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NASA to Pay $18,000 to People to Stay in Bed

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Ever had one of those days when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed? Lying around all day with your feet up? How about 70 of those days in a row? If you have the “right stuff” to stay in bed 24-hours a day for more than two months, then you might have just what NASA is looking for.

WASHINGTON, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – Ever had one of those days when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed? Lying around all day with your feet up?

How about 70 of those days in a row?

If you have the “right stuff” to stay in bed 24-hours a day for more than two months, then you might have just what NASA is looking for.

The US space agency is recruiting volunteers to stay in bed for 70 days for a study on the effects of microgravity on the human body during long spaceflights, such as future trips to Mars.

Weightlessness takes its toll on human physiology – things like bone density, muscle atrophy and cardiovascular function.

“This study will show how much your body, tilted down slightly with head down and feet up, for 70 days, 24-hours a day, without getting out of bed, except for limited times for specific tests, is like an astronaut’s body during the weightlessness of space flight,” NASA said in an explanation of the study.

“Watching you will help scientists learn how an astronaut’s body will change in weightlessness during space flight in the future,” NASA said.

And for those willing to spend 70 straight days in bed, NASA will pay $18,000, but only if they complete the study, including pre-testing, post-testing and recovery.

“Subjects exercise a couple of hours, six days a week and have to go through a battery of different tests on a daily basis. They do not get to lie around in bed all day,” said Kelly Humphries, news chief at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston where the study will be conducted.

“The test sessions can be pretty grueling for some, so the investigators have refined the selection process to find the right types of people to use as subjects,” Humphries told RIA Novosti.

NASA isn’t looking for “couch potatoes.” In fact, they want people who are healthy, who don’t smoke, and who have something they want to accomplish with all that spare time.

“They are looking for fit individuals who have a goal, such as learning a language, continuing to do their jobs via telework, doing art,” said Humphries.

So in other words, you’re supposed to be productive while lying in bed all day, which, arguably, might defeat the purpose for some.

Volunteers could also learn more about their own bodies, thanks to ongoing tests of bone, muscle, heart and circulatory systems, and nervous systems, as well as nutritional condition and the ability to fight off infections, which are conducted throughout the study.

And there are a few other fine points: Study participants don’t get access to toilets. They have to use bed pans during the testing phase.

They also bathe by taking showers on a gurney, lying down.

And, while they are allowed to have visitors, there are “no conjugal visits,” according to Humphries.

NASA says participants will be able to help send future astronauts to the moon, to Mars, and perhaps beyond, without even getting out of bed.

 

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