NASA will be paying couch potatoes $5000 a month, which in Indian currency is well above ₹3 lakh.
The program is part of a "Bed Rest Study" conducted by the US Space Agency and is designed to understand the effects of microgravity on human body. Participants are expected to stay in bed for about 70 days.
Study participants will be provided food and will even have access to Internet, video games and television.
There is a catch though; people in the study would have to lie horizontally- upside down. Their beds will be tilted with the feet on the upside. Lying head down is apparently a better and feasible way to understand the effects of sleeping in a near-zero gravity environment, Medical Daily reported. The study is being conducted by the agency's Flight Analogs Project Team at the Johnson Space Center.
In the movie Wall-E, human settlers on a space station far away from earth lose the ability to stand up on their feet. There are several clips in the movie that show physiological changes that humans have undergone, albeit in a comical way. In reality, the problems associated with space travel are severe. People living in zero-gravity conditions lose muscle strength, which may affect their performance. The study is designed to mimic conditions on a space station.
"This study will show how much your body, tilted down slightly with head down and feet up, for 70 days, 24-hours a day, without getting out of bed, except for limited times for specific tests, is like an astronaut's body during the weightlessness of space flight. Watching you will help scientists learn how an astronaut's body will change in weightlessness during space flight in the future," NASA posted on its website.
The study will be conducted on two sets of participants; the exercising group and the non-exercising group.
The subjects in the exercise set will spend 105 days at the test facility and will undergo specialized training to maintain bone and muscle health. All the exercises will be done in the horizontal position. The non-exercising participants will have to stay in the facility for 97 days.
The study is divided into three parts; first is the 'Ambulatory Period', in which all the participants will be able to move around the facility. The second stage is the 'Bed Rest Period', in which they need to stay in bed for 70 days with feet up and head down. The last stage is the 'Recovery Period', where the participants can spend the last 14 days of their study doing normal activities within the facility.