The idea of getting paid to lie in bed for two months may sound too good to be true, but that’s exactly what the European Space Agency (ESA) is doing in a new experiment involving 12 volunteers.
While lying in bed may feel relaxing, volunteers will also have to ride bikes, spin around and undergo medical checkups throughout the study.
around the bed in 60 days? ????????????♂️????????
lying in bed for maybe two months sound like bliss, but add cycling, spinning and constant medical tests and it becomes real challenge.
12 volunteers on travel in bed for space study research: https://t.co/vRDgVs1QX7rice.twitter.com/hMXOtzxps3
— Human Spaceflight (@esaspaceflight) May 23, 2023
Luckily, volunteers will be rewarded for their services with €18,000 (£15,600) each.
The European Space Agency hopes that the results of this experiment will help explore possible countermeasures to the changes that the human body undergoes in space.
The 88-day study, which is currently being tested, includes 12 male volunteers aged 20 to 45.
For 60 days of the study, participants will lie in beds tilted 6 degrees below horizontal with their legs elevated.
Eliminate meal times, showers, and even toilet breaks from this pose by keeping one shoulder on the mattress at all times.
As blood rushed to the head and muscles were lost due to underutilization, the scientists watched how the participants’ bodies reacted.
“Bed rest research provides an opportunity to test measures to counteract some of the negative aspects of life in space,” the space agency explained.
During spaceflight, astronauts’ bodies undergo a wide range of changes due to the lack of gravity, from affected eyes to hearts that begin to lose muscle and bone.
While previous studies have looked at the effects of lying down for long periods of time, this study, called BRACE (short for Artificial Gravity and Exercise Cycling Bed Rest), is the first to look at how cycling works. resists the changes she goes through. The human body in space.
“We encourage volunteers to do their best on a bike and then compare the effect to those who don’t ride a bike at all,” said Rebecca Billet, head of clinical research at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine and Physiology in Toulouse, France.
Cycling was chosen because it is already an integral part of the daily physical training of astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
“We hope to understand the added value of artificial gravity for the physical fitness of astronauts on the International Space Station. The crew does two hours of exercise a day in orbit,” explained Angelique van Omburgen, head of the biological sciences division at Human and Robotic Exploration. .
Not only astronauts can benefit from the results of the study, Van Ombergen said, explaining that the results could be useful for developing better treatments for the elderly and patients suffering from musculoskeletal diseases and osteoporosis on Earth.
The study began from last April to July 2023, and the follow-up study will run from January to April 2024.
Source: Daily Mail