The US space agency’s ‘Bed Rest’ research is designed to study the effects of prolonged exposure to micro-gravity and requires participants to remain horizontal for a period of 70 days.
In the study, scientists will gauge how effective exercise would be for astronauts who lose muscle, cardiovascular and bone function while in zero-gravity conditions.
Participants would first spend two to three weeks moving around and doing normal everyday things inside the “bed rest facility“.
They would then spend 10 weeks lying in a bed with their body tilted slightly backwards with their head down and feet up.
The only way to relieve and clean oneself would be by using a plastic bedpan and washing with a hand-held shower-head while still horizontal. The test subjects may also experience back and neck pain from constant lying down.
The next 14 days would entail “reconditioning activities” – squatting, cycling and walking while still lying down – and regular tests to see how regular exercises assist the body in adapting back to normal, according to ‘The Independent’
NASA is looking for healthy participants who will have to pass tough fitness tests, as they have to be of similar physical condition to an astronaut.
However, the research participant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be considered as a potential test subject.