Saturday, May 10, 2008

NASA Offers $5000 a Month For You to Lie in Bed

http://blog.wired.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/05/07/bed.jpg

Need a break from the working, walking, and standing required by the demanding and stressful life you lead?

Well, pack your bags for Houston because NASA wants to pay you $17,000 to stay in bed for 90 straight days.

The bed-rest experiment, to take place in the Human Test Subject Facility of Johnson Space Center, is designed to allow scientists to study some of the effects of microgravity on the human body. We read on the Bed Rest Study website:

Participants will spend 90 days lying in bed, (except for limited times for specific tests) with their body slightly tilted downward (head down, feet up). Every day, they will be awake for 16 hours and lights out (asleep) for 8 hours.

It's unclear, however, whether you'll be allowed to read with a flashlight under the covers.

Jokes aside, astronauts who've spent lengthy stays in space have suffered serious repercussions. Our bodies have evolved mechanisms to deal with a certain amount of gravitational force--namely, the amount present on Earth; reduce g and blood pools in the feet, muscles atrophy and bones lose their density. It can take astronauts (or cosmonauts) months to readjust to the Earth's gravitational force.

If you're still interested, feel free to apply. You'll have to pass the Air Force medical examination standards and take a blood test, which we assume means that you won't have any help from recreational drugs to alleviate the boredom of lying prone for 2,160 hours.

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