Off to Bed You Go…

Back in May NASA put out a request for volunteers for a

90-day bed rest study.  In return for participation, the participants would be paid $5000/month (or about $17K for the whole study).  The purpose of the study is to allow scientists to examine some of the effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the human body.  The experiment is not for the faint of heart, though, as some of the side-effects include muscle atrophy and loss of bone density.  A rehab period will be required after the study to allow the participant to regain the ability to stand up and walk (!). 

However, the subjects are not quarantined or kept lying around doing nothing.  They have access to phones and the internet as well as support from the medical team.  One of the participants has started a blog about her experiences called Pillow Astronaut.  So far, she’s been blogging since the beginning of July as the process got under way.  Her actual period of bed rest* began on the 24th

*It turns out that the subjects aren’t just confined to bed, they are kept in a bed with a -6° incline, which keeps their heads lower than their bodies.  As you can imagine, that also leads to a variety of complications in everything from eating to bathing…

If she keeps up the blog, it should be interesting to watch how this thing progresses.  Provided she doesn’t succumb to madness from being confined to bed for 90 days. 

Via Slashdot.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Many years ago, a bunch of us goofballs on some usenet newsgroup called alt.hoax, or something like that, came up with a fake news release suggesting that NASA was looking to send a couple of couch potatoes up to the space station to just sit there and do nothing but eat junk food.  The idea was to suggest that NASA was trying to research the effects of a sedentary lifestyle in space.  We peppered the article with a bunch of quotes from NASA officials taken from other articles, in an effort to make it official. 

    We “Released” the article on a bunch of usenet newsgroups, giggling at the thought of hundreds of wannabe astronauts sending an essay on why they’d like to vegg out in space.  The effort never quite ook off, as nobody really believed they would do such a thing. 

    Since hearing about this thing, I’ve been wondering if our “effort” caught their attention after all.

  2. Heh.  I don’t know about that, but they’ve supposedly been doing these studies for a while now.

  3. beds says:

    haha! thats hilarious! you should have released it, im sure it would of cause a storm!