If you get out of bed in the morning, this could be the perfect show for you.
Scientists are looking for women to stay in bed for 60 days to study how weightlessness affects the human body. As a reward for participating in the study, they pay 16,500 euros.
When astronauts are in space, weightlessness caused by weightlessness changes their bodies. The reduced physical stress in space causes muscles and bones to be broken down and body fluids to move in the direction of the head, according to the German Aerospace Center, commissioned by NASA and the European Space Agency to conduct the study.
By simulating the effects of weightlessness on bed rest, scientists hope to develop methods to counteract the effects of weightlessness so that astronauts will not have to train on the space station most of the time.
The researchers have already created a "short-arm man" centrifuge, "which creates artificial gravity and corrects the distribution of body fluids. They hope to test it on two-thirds of the study participants every day.
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"Human spaceflight will continue to be important in the future to perform experiments in weightlessness, but we must make it as safe as possible for the astronauts," says Hansjörg Dittus. Board member for space research and technology at the German Aerospace Center.
"This bed rest study … gives space explorers across Europe and the US the opportunity to work together and gain as much scientific knowledge about human physiology as possible.
Participants will do everything while lying down
All activities – including meals, showers and toilets – must be done lying down.
Each participant has their own room and stays in a sloping bed at 6 ° with the head down.
A team of nutritionists curates the meals so participants will not gain weight and have all the nutrients they need. However, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) says on its website that meals are not "particularly healthy" and sometimes pancakes or other sweet treats.
The study consists of two rounds. The first group of 24 test takers – 12 men and 12 women – started on Tuesday. It is not yet clear how many participants will be needed for the next round, which will be held from September to December 2019 at the Cologne Institute for Aerospace Medicine of the German Aerospace Center.
Scientists look for healthy women between the ages of 24 and 55 who are non-smokers to participate in the study, it says on the study website. The participants must be able to speak German.
In 2017, NASA conducted a similar bed rest study in which 11 people spent 30 days in bed.