A job at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is considered one of the most revered and admired organizations all over the world, is easily the dream job of scientists, physicists, and enthusiasts alike. However, NASA now has a new job opening which especially requires couch potatoes and other slumber fanatics – people who love sleeping for very long hours. In what could only be termed as a dream job for such loungers, NASA is ready to pay $18,000 to people who consent to staying in bed for more than 70 days.
The observation of the changes in muscle contractions in the human lab rats is part of a study that NASA is conducting for life in space. The test will last for a period of more than three months. The subjects, who get selected for the study by NASA, would be poked and prodded regularly by scientists to determine the effectiveness of any kind of exercise for astronauts while they are in space. It is known that astronauts lose bone tissue, muscle, and cardiovascular functioning of their bodies in conditions of zero gravity.
In a detailed brief about the job description, it was shared that the test subjects would be divided into two groups – non-exercising and exercising. They would initially be doing usual daily things and moving around inside the “bed rest facility.” This would go on for approximately three weeks. After that, the subjects would be lying in a bed with their head down and feet up. At the same time, their body will be tilted backwards slightly. This is the posture that the subjects would be in for 70 days at a stretch at the NASA Flight Analog Research Unit in Houston, Texas.
In earlier tests, subjects had reported intense pain in their neck and back due to lying down constantly. The other important part of the test is that the subjects would only be able to clean and relieve themselves by using a bed pan made of plastic. They would also be able to wash themselves with a handheld showerhead. However, the subjects would continue to remain in their horizontal position all the time while performing their daily chores. On completion of the test, this NASA dream job for couch potatoes would get them $18,000.
Other daily activities which do not require too much movement would also be permitted. Activities like studying, using computers, reading, etc., would be allowed. It has, however, been clarified that there is a risk of chronic sleepiness and aching arms because of staying in the same horizontal position for such a long duration. After remaining in the position for 10 weeks at a stretch, the next two weeks would include various reconditioning activities. This includes exercises like walking, squatting, and cycling while continuing to be in the horizontal position. Regular tests would also be performed on the subjects during these 14 days to evaluate how regular exercises would enable the body of a subject to adapt to a normal lifestyle again.
NASA is said to be considering physically fit and healthy applicants as participants for the study. The applicants would also have to clear a tough fitness test. This is because the physical condition of the participants needs to be similar to an astronaut. All American citizens and residents are eligible to apply for the couch potato’s dream job at NASA, which pays $18,000.
By Ankur Sinha