The Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology (Medes) in Toulouse, France, is looking for 24 individuals to stay in bed on Earth for 60 days straight, French newspaper 20 Minutes reports.
When you complete the task, you will be handed €16,000 ($17,066) for your hard work. The institute is looking for physically active, healthy, non-smoking men between the ages of 20 and 45 who have a body mass index (BMI) between 22 and 27.
Over the 60 days, the participants must have at least one shoulder in contact with the bed at all times. Half of this group will also be fed a specific cocktail of drugs each day, which is supposed to help counter the effects of weightlessness on the body, including anti-inflammatories and antioxidant food supplements.
Scientists want to know what effect prolonged periods of weightlessness will have on humans, and simply lying down for a lengthy time will hopefully mimic some of the effects on the body. Additionally, they get to test how feasible it is to eat, go to the toilet, wash, and exercise while laying on a bed.
“The idea of this study is to reproduce the weightlessness of the International Space Station (ISS),” Dr Arnaud Beck, the coordinating physician of the study, told 20 Minutes. “During the first two weeks our scientists will do a whole series of tests and measurements on the volunteers. This will be followed by a 60-day period during which they must remain in bed, the head slightly inclined downwards at less than six degrees.”
After this is done, the individuals will have two weeks of rehabilitation, during which they will be studied to see what effect this horizontal-living had on their bodies.
If you think this all sounds like easy bucks in the bank, think again.
This kind of experiment has been done before. In 2014, NASA paid a group of human guinea-pigs $18,000 to lie down for 70 days while researchers analyzed them. Andrew Iwanicki took part in the experiment and wrote about his experiences in an article for VICE in which he documented the headaches, bedpans, boredom, severe backache, and how he was “wishing eternal damnation upon all of NASA” at one point.
[H/T: The Guardian]
By Tom Hale