- Press Release
- Jan 29, 2023
Weightless in bed for three months. Want to volunteer?
Space is the only true weightless environment. On Earth, where experiments
can be performed more easily, models are designed to simulate the
weightless environment as accurately as possible. Simulation models
provide significant knowledge and are crucial in ongoing research. Current
research aims are to gain knowledge that will protect astronauts’ health
while living in space for longer than 6 month.
Long-duration bedrest study is one of the means available on the ground
to simulate the effects on the human body experienced in a weightless
environment. The technique of anti-orthostatic (-6 deg head-down tilt),
bedrest has been used in Europe, the United States, Russia and Japan since
1960 for different lengths of time. The ongoing study in the MEDES Space
Clinic in Toulouse is the first ever of such complexity and duration to
be carried out in Europe. The whole study is being conducted under French
biomedical research law.
For the first phase of this study, 14 volunteers (selected in June) began
the 3-month bedrest in August and will continue until completion in
December. The European Space Agency, in association with CNES and NASDA,
the French and Japanese space agencies, is now calling for candidates
interested in taking part in the second three-month phase of the study at
the MEDES Space Clinic in Toulouse starting in March 2002, for which 14
new volunteers will be needed. They will have to be available for 4 months
What are the selection criteria?
You must be:
* a citizen of the European Union
* aged between 25 and 45
* between 165 and 185 cm in height
* not overweight
* a non-smoker
* in good health
* under no medical treatment
* covered by health insurance
* highly motivated
The volunteers for this experiment will be exposed to a large number of
different scientific and medical examinations, performed by an
international team of scientists.
The examinations will be in the areas of:
* muscle performance and capacity,
* change in bone tissue,
* cardiovascular control systems (heart and circulation),
* changes in blood and urine composition.
The main objective of the campaign is to study the effects of
immobilisation and/or activity on bone and muscle tissue. In this
particular campaign, certain techniques to counteract deterioration in
muscle and bone tissue will be studied.
In addition, the results of the study are expected to help improve the
treatment and recovery of hospitalised or bedridden patients, especially
with regard to muscle and bone status.
Phase one of the study is ongoing at this time, and the mid-point of the
study has been passed. All volunteers are coping well and can now count
down till the end of the study, which for the first two will be on 3
For further information about the criteria and details of how to apply,
call +33 62 19 28 97 for answers in English and +33 5 62 19 28 96 for
answers in French.
If you meet the criteria, you can apply directly on the bedrest website:
http://www.medes.fr; online applications will be treated more rapidly.
You can also send us a short letter with your name, address, date and
place of birth, your height, weight, and a short explanation of why you
would like to take part.
The address is:
31031 Toulouse cedex 4
We will send you an application file as soon as we receive your letter.
[*] Due to the small size of the subject group, gender variability has
had to be eliminated to ensure significant statistical analysis.