WOULD you lay in bed for two months for an easy $22,000?
That’s what researchers at France’s space medical institute are hoping. They’re looking for 24 fit and healthy men to spend 60 days lying on their back in bed and will pay them €16,000 for the pleasure.
Why? Because they want to see what happens to the human body when it’s completely listless. In other words, a cheap simulation to study the effects of microgravity, a state of virtual weightlessness.
“The idea of this study is to reproduce the weightlessness of the International Space Station,” experiment co-ordinator Dr Arnaud Beck told French media outlet 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.”
It sounds easy, but would likely be a torturous experience for the volunteers.
They will have to wash, eat, defecate and entertain themselves all while lying down for nearly two months straight.
Researchers will choose 24 candidates who do not smoke, have a body mass index between 22 and 27 and are willing to undergo rigorous training prior to starting the extreme experiment.
As humanity lurches towards the ambitious goal of spending more time in space, and eventually colonising another planet, many space agencies have increased their research on the physical and psychological impact such an eventuality would have on us.