Can you even imagine?

I saw a bit of a show on the Discovery Channel or something that was about some of the studies that are done to simulate the long term effects of being weightless in space. They were saying how these studies were important, especially if we are to venture farther and farther away, for the astronauts bodies have to be able to withstand the extended durations in space. Without gravity, bones get brittle, blood pressure gradients throughout the body are messed up and who know what else goes on.

The part that fascinated me was the part where they showed one of their simulated microgravity studies on healthy volunteers. The volunteers were wheeled around on gurneys and had to remain essentially motionless for months at a time. Can you even imagine how horrible that would be? Where do they even find people that would volunteer to do that? How much must they pay them to stay still for months on end? Would you ever participate in such a study for say, three months, and if so, how much would they have to pay you to get you to do it?

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  1. #1 by rg on November 14, 2005 - 7:02 pm

    never. although the car accident essentially volunteered me for a few weeks, but I would never willingly do nothing for any significant length of time!

  2. #2 by Stacey on November 14, 2005 - 8:29 pm

    Good grief. I really don’t think I could do that – not for any amount of money in the world. The toll it would take on any person’s body has got to be enormous. And besides, I would absolutely lose my mind.

  3. #3 by heather on November 14, 2005 - 9:39 pm

    I guess if the price is right you will do anything. But I can’t say that I would volunteer with out a large sum of money being involved. I just couldn’t imagine that.

  4. #4 by Niki on November 14, 2005 - 10:23 pm

    NO WAY! I couldn’t do that for any amount of money. I’d lose my mind. Occasionally when I have a hard time falling asleep I’ll tell myself to just stay still and so that I will drift off – but just trying to MAKE myself stay still makes me want to jump up and down with abandon.

  5. #5 by Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling on November 15, 2005 - 9:23 am

    Our bodies are designed to move, and if you stay still for long periods of time it’s actually dangerous. You can get thrombosis (blood clots) that way, and this is sometimes what people suffer from on long distance flights.

    The solution to the problem of lack of gravity was dreamed up long ago by sci-fi authors: spinning space ships. By designing a craft which looks like a big wheel, or two modules connected by a strong cable you can generate artificial gravity which would prevent all of the adverse effects of weightlessness and allow people to spend long periods of time in space.

  6. #6 by patrice on November 15, 2005 - 9:27 am

    it would take about a flabillion skrillion dollars. but I’d do it for that amount in a heartbeat.

  7. #7 by shananigans on November 15, 2005 - 2:40 pm

    Wow, that’s some serious stuff. I don’t think I’m cut out for experimentation. After all, you can’t necessarily buy your good health back, ‘cause that’s priceless. And I would probably go insane.

  8. #8 by soapbox.SUPERSTAR on November 15, 2005 - 3:51 pm

    Would you get to watch Saturday Night Live Re-Runs? Cause I could maybe do it if I was allowed to do that!

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