Once the study is over, experts will check on each patient to see if the technique has reduced muscle wasting.
Whatever your dream job may be, there's no denying that being paid money to lie around in bed all day sounds too good to be true. Now, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wants volunteers to basically just lie in bed and watch TV so they can study how space travel will affect astronauts. The job is designed to see how 'artificial gravity' affects the human body and participants will need to do everything lying flat, and that included going to the toilet, as well, according to Daily Mail. The participants will be studied round the clock by space experts from NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) in a bid to understand how astronauts could possibly be affected by prolonged spells in space, with muscle wasting being the main concern.
According to ESA, this exercise is very important to understand the damage that may be caused by weightlessness, cosmic radiation, isolation, and spatial restrictions. Two dozen volunteers will be needed to observe for 60 days of permanent bed rest in Cologne, Germany. The requirements are that all participants must speak German and must be aged between 24 and 55, and should bein good health.
The participants will be propped up at a slight incline with their feet elevated above their head and body to reduce blood aggregating in the body's extremities. This action is expected to mimic the effects of being in space and may result in numbness and muscle wasting. The combined project by the two space agencies has guaranteed to provide participants with lots of entertainment and reading material to keep them occupied in exchange for their time.
"The use of artificial gravity might be the best solution for human health protection during human long-duration deep space missions," lead scientist Dr. Edwin Mulder, from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, told The Sun. Half of the volunteers will be making intermittent trips to a centrifuge in a laboratory and will be spun around for a short period of time, where they will be spun around for 30 rotations a minute, hoping to get some blood flow back into their extremities.
Once the study is over, experts will check on each patient to see if the technique has reduced muscle wasting. The findings, scientist hope, will help astronauts on future long-term space missions. A total of 89 days will be taken up by the research. Volunteers will have five days to familiarize with the situation before they get into bed. Once they reach the 60-day mark, they'll need nearly 14 days of rest and rehabilitation.
The volunteers will have to put up with some discomforts though. For example, they'll have to do everything lying down - even going to the loo! This is because they have to imitate the circumstances under which the astronauts will be functioning in space. In a spacecraft (with zero gravity), astronauts usually have to do everything lying down too. So volunteers will have to ape the astronauts. Comes with the job, we suppose. Scientists will be studying the volunteers' reactions to create better technology that will aid space travel and make life more comfortable for astronauts in space stations.
The volunteers will also be positioned at an incline where their feet will be above their heads. They will also be put in situations where their room will replicate the effects of microgravity. This can cause numbness, nausea and muscle wasting. (All the glitters is not gold, right?)
They will also make periodic trips to a laboratory. The lab will contain a centrifuge, which will spin around for a certain period of time. That can't be entirely pleasant, but science pays off. Plus, you get to pretty much chill around when you're not actively participating in activities conducted by NASA and ESA. The volunteers will be provided with a lot of entertainment in the form of movies, music, TV shows, and music.
Even with the side effects, it still sounds like a dream job, right? Who's ready to apply?