Space Volunteers Wanted; Must be Willing to Stay in Bed for Two Months

Fagjun | Published 2017-04-04 10:17

Help scientists figure out how to deal with the negative effects of prolonged space flight in astronauts.

Have you ever wanted a job where you can stay in bed all day? How about staying in bed for 60 days straight? If that's your thing, you may want to become one of 24 space volunteers for the Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology. Earn a cool €16,000 for doing basically nothing.

Well, not nothing. There's a catch, of course. You'll have to eat, sleep, drink, and do your business without ever getting out of bed.

You won't need a degree in astrophysics or anything in order to qualify. All you need to be is male, healthy, between 20 to 45 years old, and a non-smoker with no allergies. Your body mass index also has to fall between 22 to 27.

Space Volunteers and Life in Space

Got what it takes? Apply here. (Since the Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology is in France, the ability to speak French may be a big plus.)

If you sadly don't qualify, read on anyway, because the purpose of the job is actually quite interesting.

There's more to staying in bed all day for 60 days. Space volunteers will be facing a tough two months ahead of them. They have to perform all the necessary tasks for maintaining the minimum requirements of staying alive while keeping at least one shoulder on the bed. While intriguing, it's certainly tougher than it may seem. Have you ever tried to reach for the TV remote without leaving the sofa? Imagine having to urinate without getting out of bed.

It's all for a good purpose, though. The Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology is conducting a study on the effects of long periods of weightlessness on the human body. The study aims to figure out how to counteract these negative effects.

The Consequences of Weightlessness

So if you think staying in bed for two months is no big deal, its effects might be. Astronauts who have spent a long time in space, virtually weightless, have experienced a number of negative effects. They have lost bone density as well as some muscles in their lower body. Volunteers can expect to experience the same things. They may experience lower blood pressure, dizziness or vertigo, and difficulty standing up.

The experiment was designed to mimic the conditions astronauts live in on the International Space Station. Space volunteers will spend two weeks undergoing tests for the study. After these two weeks, volunteers will then spend 60 days in bed. Volunteers will then spend another two weeks after the experiment in recuperation. Researchers will also conduct studies on how the two-month stay in bed affected the volunteers.

Hey! Where are you going?? Subscribe!

Get weekly science updates in your inbox!