NASA study is enough to make a person want to stay in bed

Sept. 20, 2013 at 5:53 PM
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GALVESTON, Texas, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- If you're willing to lie down on the job, NASA may have something for you -- a research study in which subjects lie in bed for 70 days.

NASA is recruiting volunteers to lie in a bed tilted downward at a 6-degree angle for 70 days, and will pay up to $18,000 to those who volunteer, CBS News reported Friday.

The study is to test conditions that astronauts might experience while traveling in space. NASA said it hopes to learn what physical changes can happen on space missions and how much body function is required for a person to complete a specific task.

Researchers are requiring participants to rest on a slight tilt that allows fluids to move toward the upper part of the body, allowing observers to study cardiovascular symptoms similar to what might be experienced during a space expedition.

The volunteers, who must undergo a physical, will be required to live in a bed rest facility in NASA's Flight Analogs Research Unit at the University of Texas Medical branch in Galveston, CBS News said.

The subjects will be divided into two groups -- one will spend 105 days at the facility and go through resistance and aerobic exercises while remaining on bed rest and the other will spend 97 days at the facility but won't be required to perform the exercises.

Roni Cromwell, a senior scientist on the study, told Forbes there is a risk of bone and muscle atrophy when a person lies down for that long a time.

"Subjects in the study look at it as a way to help," Cromwell said, "in that what we eventually do will help astronauts maintain their health while in space."

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