Get Paid $18,000 to Stay in Bed for Two Months, For Science | Smart News | Smithsonian

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Get Paid $18,000 to Stay in Bed for Two Months, For Science

If your skill is staying in bed for extremely extended periods of time, well the perfect job for you has just opened up

smithsonian.com

Everybody has their own set of skills. Some are really good at dancing. Others can do physics. Still others are great at managing teams of people. If your skill is staying in bed for extremely extended periods of time, well, the perfect job has just opened up.

NASA is looking for research subjects to help them study the effects of microgravity on long space flights. This means laying in bed, tilted head down at a six-degree angle, for 70 days. You can talk to your friends, but you can’t get up and walk around.

Now, just being really good at laying there doesn’t automatically qualify you. “Couch potatoes is not an accurate description for what we are looking. Subjects need to be very healthy,” NASA’s news chief, Kelly Humphries told Forbes. An earlier 2008 study had people in bed for 54 days. Heather Archuletta, who now works for NASA, was a subject. She says:

“Even when it was sometimes challenging, I tried to remember I was doing this for astronauts, so that we can keep them more healthy in space. The day I got up, after being in bed for 54 days , my feet hurt like crazy walking for the first time! But, I reminded myself, this is what astronauts go through, too.  Being a ground analog tester for astronauts is exciting, because you get to experience a lot of the things they do, and you’re also all working with the same doctors. I’ve gotten to meet a couple dozen astronauts now, too.”

In case you think this is a scam or rumor, here’s the actual NASA application page. Apply away, professional layabouts in incredibly good health.

More from Smithsonian.com:

NASA’s Inflatable Spacecraft Heat Shield
Apollo 11 Moonwalk Montage

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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