NASA Will Pay You $5,000/month to Stay in Bed

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Update 4/2016: The last round of this study was done in 2015. We’ll update here when we have information regarding future rounds.

In the meantime, here are some more ways to make money without getting out of bed:

Make Extra Money Through a NASA Bed Rest Study

Finally I’ll have an excuse for lying in bed all day watching “Law & Order” marathons!

The folks over at NASA are paying $5,000 per month to participants of their bed rest study.

The study lasts for 87 days and is designed to help NASA research the effects of zero gravity space travel on the human body.

The study takes place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

In addition to being a cool way to help NASA, this could fatten your bank account by more than $15,000.

What’s a Bed Rest Study?

Participants in the study will spend the entire 87 days at the Johnson Space Center.

Your job is to simply lie in bed, pass the time and allow the researchers to perform periodic tests on your body.

It’s less creepy than it sounds.

From NASA’s website:

During the (first 15 days) of the study, participants will be free to move around inside the bed rest facility and do normal things. They will also take part in a number of tests to find out the normal state of their bone, muscle, heart and circulatory system, brain and nervous system, and vestibular (inner ear balance) system as well as their nutritional condition and their ability to fight off infections.

After the first 11-15–day period, participants will spend 60 days lying in bed, (except for limited times for specific tests) with their body slightly tilted downward (head down, feet up). Every day, they will be awake for 16 hours and lights out (asleep) for 8 hours. During the bed rest time they will also take part in a number of tests to find out changes in the state of their bone, muscle, heart and circulatory system and nervous system, as well as their nutritional condition and their ability to fight off infections.

The final 14 days is a recovery period where they begin the process of helping you regain muscle strength and readjust to a normal life.

What You’ll Do

Once you’ve entered the 60-day bed rest portion of the study, your options to pass the time are, of course, somewhat limited.

Every participant is set up with a TV, computer and video game console. You can also read or spend time with visitors.

The researchers suggest every participant begin the study with a goal so the time in bed is productive. Learn a foreign language, read “War and Peace,” beat Pac-Man — you get the idea.

All of your meals are provided, and the diet is designed to keep you at your current weight.

If three months of watching TV and reading magazines didn’t already sound enticing, add not having to cook to the list.

The Requirements

Obviously if you’re going to be accepted as a participant, you need to be in good physical and mental health.

The application suggests researchers are looking for participants who resemble the average astronaut’s age and health. That probably excludes those who are, um, mature.

You need to be a non-smoker and able to pass the Air Force Medical Examination.

How to Apply

You can fill out the initial application online, and it’s pretty easy.

The application form requires your contact information and some basic medical history. Fill out the application here.

I also found a great interview at Wired magazine — a researcher answered common questions from prospective applicants. You can read it here.

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