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NASA Wants to Pay You $10K to Lie in Bed

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#1 Hum

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 22:36

NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, is looking to pay volunteers $10,000 to lie in bed for 70 days in order to study the effects of “microgravity” on the human body, according to a story published Monday in the Daily Mail. Simply put, microgravity is a very small force of gravity that makes astronauts bounce around seemingly weightlessly in space. It's also the state of the body when it’s in freefall. Since astronauts spend months at a time in space, scientists are continually studying how microgravity affects the human body.

The experiment is twofold: After participants are screened for health (they must be between the ages of 24 and 55 and can’t smoke, take medications, use hormones or be pregnant or menopausal), they move into the Johnson Space Center for two weeks; there, they carry out daily activities so that scientists can observe their bodies in normal conditions.

Then they move to NASA’s Flight Analogs Research Unit (FARU) at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, where they lie in a bed for 70 days with their body positioned so that they're tilted downward (head lower than feet), which mimics the physiological effects of microgravity.

Although NASA didn’t respond to Yahoo Shine’s requests for comment, photographs of study subjects portray them playing instruments and video games, surfing the Internet, reading magazines, and eating and drinking. Beds are also positioned side-by-side so that subjects can interact. Getting out of bed isn’t permitted, except when scientists test the body's responses.

Next comes the recovery period. For the following two weeks, people are allowed to stand up and slowly move around the facility and resume normal activity.

“Having people lie in bed for 70 days is a fairly easy way to study the effects of microgravity on the human body without actually sending people to space,” Ben Burress, staff astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California, tells Yahoo Shine. “When the body is in microgravity, it’s in freefall, similar to the feeling you get when you skydive or ride to the top of a roller coaster — that brief moment when you begin to fall. That feeling can’t be created by standing, sitting, or lying down, so scientists adjust the body into a tilt that tricks the body into thinking it’s in freefall.”

Unsurprisingly, manipulating your body into such an awkward position can cause side effects. Because there’s a lack of gravity distributing fluids throughout the body, they settle in the face, causing bloating. Also, people tend to grow slightly taller because their spines are no longer compressed by gravity, and bones lose density and become brittle from lack of use. “It's unclear how these participants use the bathroom, but in space, astronauts use a suction device,” says Burress.

If it sounds appealing, you can sign up. But no worries if you don't qualify. NASA has a history of reaching out to the public for studying the cosmos. Back in 2007, in order to test whether humans could stay awake long enough to function on Mars (which has a 24.65-hour day), NASA added an hour to people's 24-hour day by exposing them to super bright lights for one month.

 

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#2 Enron

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 22:43

Oh, I thought they meant they wanted me to make false statements in bed.



#3 Quigley Guy

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 22:45

nevermind



#4 OP Hum

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 22:47

As long as I can have sex .... :p



#5 Edrick Smith

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 22:51

It's temping but I think I'd start to go insane, I don't think I could lay in bed for that long I'd much rather actually be in space for that period. 



#6 astropheed

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 22:53

Prior to reading I thought that was a great deal. Now that I've read it, $10K is not really even close to enough money, not for me anyways.



#7 Nagisan

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:06

Sounds appealing at first but honestly I don't think I could lay still for that long. $10 isn't even that much for how long you're doing it. You are essentially working 24/7 for NASA for 70 days, at $10,000 that works out to just under $6 per hour. So basically you are getting paid minimum wage for 70 days of being forced to stay in a bed.



#8 OP Hum

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:13

^ That's more than I get paid to post on Neowin. :p



#9 Euphoria

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:14

I know couple of fatasses that will do this job for free :)



#10 Xilo

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:26

 
 

 

If it sounds appealing, you can sign up. But no worries if you don't qualify. NASA has a history of reaching out to the public for studying the cosmos. Back in 2007, in order to test whether humans could stay awake long enough to function on Mars (which has a 24.65-hour day), NASA added an hour to people's 24-hour day by exposing them to super bright lights for one month.

 

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The body's natural clock is more than 24 hours a day anyways.



#11 Nagisan

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:32

^ That's more than I get paid to post on Neowin. :p

But is it enough to willing lay in a bed for practically 70 days straight? My body would be killing me after the first week.....



#12 astropheed

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:40

The body's natural clock is more than 24 hours a day anyways. [citation needed]



#13 OP Hum

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:41

But is it enough to willing lay in a bed for practically 70 days straight? My body would be killing me after the first week.....

 

^ You can roll around and do various exercises in bed.



#14 fusi0n

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 23:52

$10,000 is nowhere even close enough.. 



#15 perochan

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 00:13

I will think about it if it is $100,000 :D