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ONE LONG SNOOZE FOR MANKIND.. Nasa hires 'motivated layabouts' for study.

Byline: ALISTAIR MASON

NASA chiefs have revealed they are paying volunteers - to spend two months in bed.

The 24 test subjects - thought to be earning PS14,000 - are lying down for 60 days and nights at a special centre in Cologne, Germany, as part of a study.

Undertaken with the European Space Agency (ESA), it is looking into the effects of weightlessness.

Specifically studying the possible benefits of artificial gravity to astronauts, the research is the first to be conducted jointly by the agencies.

According to the ESA, the volunteers are "healthy people between the ages of 20 and 45" and "highly motivated". Jennifer Ngo-Anh, ESA team leader, added: "This study allows us to address the issue of muscular atrophy caused by weightlessness but also other stressors such as cosmic radiation, isolation and spatial restrictions."

Researchers use constant bed rest as a means of simulating the muscle and bone wastage caused by the weightlessness experienced in space. Astronauts on the International Space Station do about two-and-a-half hours of exercise each day to combat the problem.

But researchers believe that artificial gravity could help to mitigate the effects.

The 12 women and 12 men will lie at an angle of six degrees, meaning their head will be below horizontal.

CAPTION(S):

BED DAY A volunteer on the machine in Cologne. Picture: PA

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Mar 29, 2019
Words:221
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