French space researchers looking for volunteers to lie in bed for 60 days

Participants in the lengthy experiment will be paid €16,000 for staying in bed for two months...

French space researchers looking for volunteers to lie in bed for 60 days

Picture by: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/PA Images

Researchers in France are looking for volunteers to spend 60 days straight in bed to test the effects of weightlessness.

The study is being carried out by the Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology (MEDES) in Toulouse.

The institute's dedicated clinic aims to simulate the effects of a space environment - in particular microgravity, or near weightlessness - using a 'bed-rest model'.

According to the institute, the "experimental model faithfully replicates the absence of hydrostatic pressure and of stress on the musculoskeletal system [and] reproduces the lack of physical activity of astronauts in the course of space flights."

Consequences of such an experience are likely to include muscle loss and reduction in blood volume.

The institute has already carried out months-long tests in recent years, but the upcoming experiment - scheduled to take place between September and December - will require an 88 day commitment from participants.

After two weeks of initial tests, volunteers will spend 60 days lying in bed with at a specific angle (head lower than their feet). The final stretch will be spent recuperating and having further tests carried out.

The Guardian notes that researchers are looking for 24 participants in total.

There are some specific criteria involved, however. Volunteers must be men aged between 20-45 who are active, healthy and non-smoking.

Final selection will be based around medical and psychological evaluation.

Those selected will be paid €16,000 for their troubles, with the payments spread over four years.

Similar experiments have been carried out in other parts of the world before, with one participant in a 70-day NASA study recounting his experience in an article for Vice.