For a payment of of £16,500 ($18,500) the volunteers are expected to do everything in the bed. Whether that’s eating, reading, watching television or going to the bathroom.
One group will be spun around in a centrifuge at 30 revolutions a minute, creating to an artificial gravity chamber, which will force blood back into their extremities. The other group will not be spun. Scientists want to compare whether this “artificial gravity” would lower muscle loss and be beneficial for long-term space travel.
Following the initial 60 days in bed, participants will also undergo a two week period of rehabilitation.
ESA claim the experiment it is integral in understanding any damage that may be caused by weightlessness. NASA and the ESA’s main concern with long term space travel is muscle wasting.
According to NASA:
“Living and working in space is mentally strenuous. But the absence of gravity makes working in a spacecraft physically undemanding. On Earth, we must constantly use certain muscles to support ourselves against the force of gravity.”