Regardless of what your personal idea of a dream job might be, you have to admit that being paid to stay in bed sounds awesome. This is exactly what NASA and ESA want from a team of volunteers to test the potential benefits of artificial gravity for long-haul space missions.
The research, which is being conducted in Germany, will require a total of 24 participants to remain in bed for two full months. Volunteers will sit slightly inclined so that their legs are slightly higher than their head, which will reduce blood flow to the extremities and thus cause muscle deterioration.
When astronauts spend a lot of time in space, their muscles pay a heavy price. Scientists traveling to the International Space Station, for example, need to train regularly to keep their bodies in good working order, but NASA and ESA want to know if an occasional maintenance with an artificial gravity could also be beneficial.
The two dozen volunteers – tested in two groups of 12 – will each spend 60 days resting, with occasional movements in a centrifuge in the laboratory. The rotating arm of the centrifuge will repel blood to the participant's feet, simulating the effects of gravity and, hoping it, will reveal the benefits that such a system could bring to real astronauts during long stays in the air. ;space.
Scientists, who are still recruiting participants for the second round of the past 12 years, offer all the necessary experience to anyone brave enough to endure two months of inaction. In addition to being able to spend almost all hours of the day watching television, movies, playing video games or reading, the team pays a nice sum of 16,500 euros to each individual.
It's a piece of decent change for two months of "work," but even though the study seems disproportionate, there remain some psychological challenges to staying in the same room, slightly behind, for 60 days (and an additional 30 days) . days of recovery after). We wish good luck to the volunteers!