NASA is calling for test subjects in an experiment that could pave the way to sending humans to Mars or beyond. It’s called the bed-rest study, and it is as extreme as it sounds.
If chosen, participants will have to lay on a bed for 70 days, with their feet elevated slightly higher than their heads. This simulates the long-term effects of microgravity on the human body. The researchers will be able to see how bone density, muscle atrophy, and other bodily factors change as people stay off their feet for months at a time, just like they would on an interplanetary mission. But don’t worry, you can go about your normal daily routine, just as long as it is confined to the bed — there’s a special shower, and you can use consumer electronics (Netflix must have enough decent content for 70 days of constant streaming, right?) Some subjects will even get to use in-bed exercise equipment.
Participants get $18,000 for their time.
So what does it take to endure such hard-core rest? Actually, a lot. Subjects need to be in very good physical condition and undergo psychological evaluation. The application states that participants must pass a modified Air Force Class III medical standard. The senior scientist on the study told Forbes, “We want people who have the physical and psychological characteristics of an astronaut,” albeit a bedridden one.
The insights to be gained here can be crucial for the future of spaceflight. Currently, researchers suggest that a 10-month trip to Mars would cause an astronaut to lose 40 percent of his or her muscle mass. “On a long voyage,” Space.com reports, “a healthy 30- to 50-year-old astronaut could end up with the strength of an 80-year-old.” Something that would be a hindrance when it comes to actually landing on the planet.
What We're Following See More »
A group advising Donald Trump on Native American issues is encouraging him to privatize Indian reservations, taking the land out of the hands of the "suffocating federal bureaucracy." Currently, tribes have rights to the land but don't own it, meaning they can drill, but only under strenuous government restriction. Markwayne Mullin, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma and a member of the Cherokee tribe thinks the plan would be supported by Native American tribes nationally.
As has been rumored for a week, Donald Trump will nominate Ben Carson, his former rival, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a statement, Trump said, "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up."
"Supporters of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on Saturday withdrew a last-ditch lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court aimed at forcing a statewide ballot recount, another major setback in the effort to verify the votes in three states that provided President-elect Donald Trump his margin of victory. Ms. Stein’s campaign announced in a statement Saturday that the Pennsylvania lawsuit had been dropped after the court demanded that a $1 million bond be posted by the 100 Pennsylvania residents who brought the suit."
In a series of early-morning tweets on Sunday, Donald Trump threatened companies that attempt to relocate out of the country. "Any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. without retribution or consequence, is WRONG!," he wrote. "There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies."