Living in space is no easy job and sleeping there is not exactly the same as on Earth. For one thing, the gravity in outer space affects the body’s functioning. But, without sound sleep and ideal conditions, how can the astronauts function? To check this, scientists from NASA have teamed up with the European Space Agency to create and test an environment where they will see how this works.
For this, the space agency has invited 12 men and 12 women between the age of 24 and 55 to lie in a specially constructed bed for two months. And, for this experiment, they will be paid a hefty fee of $18500, which comes around 12 Lacs! Sounds promising right?
During the study, the volunteers will also not be allowed to exert themselves. They will be subjected to various tests of their cognition, muscle strength, balance, and cardiovascular function throughout the duration. Additionally, half the participants will be subjected to the effects of an anti-gravity chamber.
During the entire duration of the study, all those participants will be put under scrutiny. They will not be allowed to engage in tiresome activities. Through the duration, various health parameters such as cognition, muscle strength, balance, cardiovascular function under a gravity chamber.
But, there’s a catch
As they say, sleep does not come easy and in this case, sleeping requires you to tick off a few conditions from the specific list. The beds that candidates will be required to sleep in will not be the normal home beds. They are designed in a way that reciprocate conditions in space. The special beds will reduce blood pressure and lead to a gradual decrease in the blood volume, which would then have effects on their health. The participants will not be allowed to do anything but sleep. Whatever they do, they have to do lying down for 60 days at a stretch. They will not even be allowed to get up for toilet breaks or showers!
What’s more? There will also be a nutritionist on board who will provide them with a specific menu and diet plan to eat. The food prepared will have no added preservatives or artificial sweeteners and have the necessary nutritional value.
Why is it difficult to sleep in space?
When astronauts travel, they go under a lot of physical stress and changes. Their health also suffers. Muscle atrophy, loss in bone density, loneliness and mental trauma are commonly experienced when they are holed up in space for a long time. If this sleep study has positive results, scientists can develop specific anti-gravity devices which can help keep the astronauts healthy and well.
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