Staying in bed does sound like a dream job and NASA is just offering that. The American space agency is currently recruiting a number of willing volunteers to spend 70 days doing very little at its Houston headquarters, Metro.co.uk reported.
The couch potatoes will get paid around 3,000 pounds a month as part of the US space agency’s research into the effects of microgravity on the human body. “Of all the potential challenges crew members encounter in the space environment, microgravity has proven to be one of the most difficult to mimic in an experimental setting,” Nasa.gov said.
According to the space agency, researchers and engineers are studying bed rest as an experimental analog for space flight because extended exposure to a head-down tilt position can duplicate many of the effects of a low-gravity environment. As part of the Flight Analog Research Unit (FARU), NASA maintains a dedicated bed-rest study facility at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
The facility is equipped with beds that can be adjusted into positions that reproduce the effects of different gravity levels on the human body. By manipulating these and other variables, the FARU team works to gather data and develop countermeasures that will be used to ease the effects of reduced gravity on future long-duration space missions.
Successful candidates will stay in a tilted bed 24 hours a day as part of the 70-day project, where they can play computer games, surf the internet or watch TV. Researchers will then monitor how long-term confinement to a reduced gravity environment effects muscle and bone strength, cardiovascular function and mental health. The “pillownauts” will undergo a two-week rehabilitation period once the study is complete.