The two space agencies need as many as 12 volunteers to take part in a study to monitor the effects of space travel on astronauts and their health. Participants need to be between the ages of 24 to 55, should know German, and should be in good health.
Here is an advertisement for one of those dream jobs that get announced from time to time. A job that any ordinary Joe can do and one that does not even involve a great deal of expertise. What's more, you get heavily paid for the same. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently announced that it will give out as much as £14,000 (around $18,400) to sleep and watch TV for a period of two months reports the Daily Mail. Yes, this is not at all a joke. No engineering, science or math expertise is required. However, the only requirement is that you speak German, are between the ages of 24 to 55, and in good health. Volunteers will be monitored by NASA scientists for the duration of the job in order for them to understand how space travel will affect astronauts. With this experiment, scientists basically want to create the same condition of the life of an astronaut in space so that scientists will be able to design better technology and increase understanding about their health during space travel. At a time when there is talk about building space stations on the moon as well as launching manned space vehicles to Mars, this experiment is no laughing matter.
A person who volunteers for this will be doing all of mankind a noble service while also getting paid a hefty amount. Specifically speaking, this dream job is basically designed to see how 'artificial gravity' has an effect on the human body. For this purpose, all participants who register for the study will need to do everything lying flat, even going to the toilet. This is probably one of the major discomforts that a participant will have to bear.
The study is a joint collaboration between NASA as well as the European Space Agency (ESA). Experts from both organizations will study participants around the clock. Prolonged spells of gravity in space severely affect the health and well being of astronauts. As a result, the participants will be monitored in a bid to understand effects and concerns such as muscle wasting, mental well-being as elongated periods of time spent in space also causes depression in astronauts.
According to the ESA, a study like this is also crucial to understanding other effects of space travel on the body as the damage that may have been caused by factors such as weightlessness, cosmic radiation, isolation, and spatial restrictions. The study will need as many as two dozen volunteers who will be in bed for a period of 60 days. The study will be conducted in Cologne, Germany, and those enrolled for it will have to speak German.
Phase one of a 60-day bedrest study started in Cologne, Germany, this week - the joint ESA-@NASA study is the first to put the participants in a spin. @DLR_en's short-arm centrifuge will be used test the use of artificial gravity.— ESA (@esa) March 27, 2019
Read more: https://t.co/6w85M3H7yq pic.twitter.com/ixHtFlmmLO
Is that the principle of ‘spin gravity’ as mentioned in #TheExpanse ‘spinning up the drum’?— Faun 🦎🌺🖖🏻😸 #FBPE (@Fauntje) March 27, 2019
Besides always lying flat for the entire duration of the time, the participants will also have to bear with another discomfort. Instead of lying down the normal way while sleeping they will need to slightly inclined. The participant's feet will have to be an elevation above their head and body. The reason behind the design for this position is so as to reduce clotting and aggregation of blood in the body's extremities.
This position will mimic the effects of being in space and may result in muscle wasting and numbness. Half the participants will undergo treatments akin to that of an 'artificial gravity' chamber. They will also be spun around in a centrifuge at 30 revolutions a minute. This particular experiment is hoped will force blood back into their extremities just like in space travel. There will then be a comparison and contrasting of the two groups those who were spun and those not spun.
Their physical deterioration will be monitored, and data from the same will be taken to help mitigate such tendencies during long-term space travel. Before the participants are undertaken for the experiments, a three-month time block will be needed to be cleared in order to take part in the study. This two-week period of rehabilitation will follow the test and after the study, there will be a five day orientation period. If participants think they will get bored during the two months then there's nothing to worry.
The two agencies will provide for an ample supply of entertainment in the form of TV programmes and reading material in exchange for their time. They have also recommended that participants also use this time in a proper manner and enroll in some online courses. Lead scientist Dr. Edwin Mulder, from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, told The Sun, "The use of artificial gravity might be the best solution for human health protection during human long-duration deep space missions.”