NASA and the European Space Agency are offering an odd job: they are paying a handsome amount for volunteers to lie in bed for weeks.
Effects Of Weightlessness In Space
It may sound like a dream job for people who just want to lie in bed, eat, and sleep there without the need to get up and do other chores, but this is actually a new experiment.
The study aims to find out if artificial gravity may help keep astronauts healthy during space missions.
Crews onboard the International Space Station live in microgravity. Weightlessness makes them at increased risk for bone loss, kidney stones, bone fractures, loss of muscles mass, fatigue, and other injuries. To mitigate these risks, ISS astronauts currently exercise two hours per day and consume a balanced diet to protect their health.
Scientists are now looking at the possibility that artificial gravity may also help keep them healthy.
The new study called AGBRESA (Artificial Gravity Bed Rest-European Space Agency), will explore the potential benefits of artificial gravity on astronauts who will embark on long-term space missions.
It will assess the health effects of long-duration spaceflight by limiting the movements of participants for 60 days. The experiment also will be the first to use space-age "human centrifuge" to create artificial gravity.
"Crewed spaceflight will continue to be important in the future in order to carry out experiments in microgravity, but we must make it as safe as possible for the astronauts," said Hansjörg Dittus, board member at the German Aerospace Center.
"This bed rest study conducted by DLR, NASA and ESA offers space researchers from all over Europe and the USA the opportunity to work together and jointly acquire as much scientific knowledge about human physiology as possible."
The study conducted in Cologne, Germany will have two campaigns. The first started on March 25. The second campaign will kick off in early September.
More Participants Needed
Researchers are still looking for volunteers for the second phase of the study in autumn. They are looking for women between 24 and 55 years old who do not smoke. Participants should be 153-190 cm, and have BMI of 19-30 kg / m 2. They also need to have good German language skills.
Volunteers will be paid 16,500 euros for their full participation. This amount is equivalent to about $19,000.