Saturday, May 10, 2008

Q&A: NASA Scientist Answers Your Questions About Lying in Bed for 90 Days

Our readers had a lot of questions following our last post on the NASA Bed Rest Study, in which participants spend 90 days lying in bed in exchange for about $5,000 a month. What did participants eat? Could they have conjugal visits? Did they get to pay videogames?
We got in touch with Ronita Cromwell, the senior research scientist heading the project to put your questions to her. She emphasized that the study's purpose is to simulate some of the effects of zero-gravity on astronauts bodies during long stays in space. By keeping participants horizontal, her team can gain some visibility into muscle atrophy and bone loss. If you want to help out the space program by lying about, just fill out this NASA application form.
In this question-and-answer, Cromwell discusses the gritty details of what you can watch, how you can eat, whether you can play videogames, and the possibility of conjugal visits during your three months in bed.

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