Atrophy for Science

Do you think you could do everything, and I mean everything, in bed for 70 days? If so, NASA wants to hear from you.

You cannot get up for any reason for 70 days. You can read, watch television, catch up on e-mail, or even play video games, but you cannot get out of bed—not to eat, shower, or even use the restroom. So, if you can keep your head at a steady six-degree decline for 70 days straight, NASA is willing to pony up $18,000 to the right applicant for their service.

NASA’s new aerospace study is meant to test conditions that an astronaut would experience in space, where there is no gravity, over an extended period. There will be two groups in the study. One group will be required to be on bed rest but will have daily resistance and aerobic exercise, while the other will be straight-up couch potatoes—but in bed rather than on the couch.

Throughout the duration of the study, data will be collected related to the subjects’ muscles, bones, heart, nutrition, and circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. This data will be analyzed and used to create long-term plans for astronauts to more easily acclimate from zero gravity in space to the gravity of Earth.

While in zero gravity, humans can experience many health issues because we have evolved to the gravity of Earth. Researchers expect to see loss of muscle strength, decreased bone density and respiratory capacity, as well as some constipation and urinary problems among subjects.

NASA isn’t looking for just any couch potato either. Volunteers must be nonsmokers who can pass a Modified Air Force Class III physical.

This military and aerospace (mil/aero) geek is all for a comfy bed, but isn’t sure he could pull off 70 days straight without exception. Do you think that you would be up to the challenge? Apply here.

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Posted October 28th, 2013, by

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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

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