NASA pays volunteer $18,000 to lie in bed for 70 days

NASA paid about 50 volunteers last year to do just that, so that it could study how muscle and bone would deteriorate in such conditions.

Drew Iwanicki was monitored 24/7 during the test

If you are offered $18,000 to stay bed-ridden for 70 days – and I mean, completely bed-ridden and horizontal at all times, would you take it?

Well, NASA paid about 50 volunteers last year to do just that, so that it could study how muscle and bone would deteriorate in such conditions. The research could be helpful for lengthy space missions in the future, such as a trip to Mars.

According to Iflscience, one of the volunteers, Drew Iwanicki, spoke to NextShark about his experience. In the interview about the study, tagged CFT 70 (Countermeasure and Functional Testing in Head-Down Tilt Rest Study), Iwanicki said that he first heard about the test in a post on Reddit back in 2013. After signing up, Iwanicki was chosen out of 25,000 applicants to undertake the study in November 2014.

Iwanicki explained that he was monitored 24/7, while he also had to follow an extremely strict diet that kept his weight to a maximum of 90 kilograms (200 pounds). He also added that he was not even allowed to sit up to make eye contact with his girlfriend when she visited, and had to urinate in a “pee jug” and a bedpan lying down.

“I was on a regimented sleep schedule,” Iwanicki told NextShark. "Lights out at 10 p.m., lights on at 6 a.m. No napping allowed during the day, which is one of the cruelest jokes about being stuck in bed all day, not being able to nap.”

At the end of all the tests and exercises, he said he had earned $13, 000 in total after tax. All in all, that’s about $170 a day to lie in bed, be prodded and probed. Worth it?

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