This is all part of a prolonged bed rest study that launched this week at a German Aerospace Center (DLR) facility, where international researchers are examining how artificial gravity might help astronauts stay healthy in space, "especially in extreme conditions, such as in weightlessness in space," according to an English translation of the DLR website, cited by CNET. "If astronauts are to live for long periods in space, or on the moon and Mars, science needs effective measures to counteract bone and muscle atrophy."
For the study, 12 male and 12 female participants will be required to stay in bed for 60 days, "plus a further 29 days of acclimatization and recovery." They'll remain in beds "with the head tilted 6 degrees below horizontal and must ensure one of their shoulders is touching the mattress at all times," according to the ESA. The position, according to CNET, "reduces blood flow to the extremities, like astronauts in space experience."
During this prolonged bed rest, researchers will measure blood flow and muscle loss and investigate the role of diet and exercise. Some participants will be spinning in DLR’s short-arm centrifuge, with the intensity of the force adjusted to their body size. This is meant to “encourage blood to flow back towards their feet and allow researchers to understand the potential of artificial gravity in combating the effects of weightlessness.”
To apply, you must be healthy, fluent in German and 24-55 years old. More information on participating can be found at dlr-probandensuche.de.
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