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Thursday, March 28, 2019

NASA offers 12 lakhs + for lying in bed ~ 'summa iru' and earn

In a hilarious comedy, Vadivelu would challenge a person to remain idle (summa iru) for an hour ~ the man who would ridicule Vadivelu for being one without work, would find it so difficult to sit idle for an hour, would admit losing the challenge ! ~ what for do people earn ? – there is this story where a management consultant, went to a man sitting and not doing anything.  He offered to change the life of the man – motivating him to do some work, earn money, make it a fortune, then relax with the earned money. .. .. the man shot back ‘if being relaxed is the end objective’, I am already at it – why push oneself and end up at this ? – can you sit idle, be associated with top notch NASA and paid for that ? – sounds a dream !

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.  NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Since its establishment, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles.  NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System.  Scientific research on the International Space Station is a collection of experiments that require one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit.

Researchers are investigating the effect of the station's near-weightless environment on the evolution, development, growth and internal processes of plants and animals. In response to some of this data, NASA wants to investigate microgravity's effects on the growth of three-dimensional, human-like tissues, and the unusual protein crystals that can be formed in space.  .. .. and according to this story in Daily Mail UK, volunteers are being offered £14,000 [12.67 lakhs Indian Rupees] to lie in bed for two months and watch TV to help NASA understand how space travel will affect astronauts.  The dream job for many is designed to see how 'artificial gravity' affects the human body and participants will need to do everything lying flat, including going to the toilet.  Space experts from both NASA and ESA will study them around the clock in a bid to understand how astronauts may be affected by prolonged spells in space, with muscle wasting the main concern.  ESA claim it is integral in understanding the damage that may be caused by weightlessness, cosmic radiation, isolation and spatial restrictions.

They will be propped up at a slight incline with their feet elevated above their head and body to reduce blood aggregating in the body's extremities. This is expected to mimic the effects of being in space and may result in numbness and muscle wasting.  Two dozen volunteers will be subjected to the 60 days of permanent bed rest in Cologne and all participants must speak German.  The other requirement is that  participants are between 24 and 55 and healthy.  If you think this may be a 'dream job' for that lump currently taking up space on your couch, you may be severely disappointed. “Couch potatoes is not an accurate description for what we are looking. Subjects need to be veryhealthy,” says NASA’s news chief, Kelly Humphries. Those who are short-listed in the application round go through a modified Air Force Class Three physical, which is a rigorous physical exam. In addition, there is a psychological screening in which subject candidates fill out a battery of tests, followed by ninety minutes one on one with a psychologist.

 “Once they qualify physically and mentally, we do rigorous physical exercises to test muscle strength and aerobics capacity. We want people who have the physical and psychological characteristics of an astronaut. They should be able to do the kind of activities that astronauts do.” Said Dr Cromwell.  The project from the two space agencies will provide participants with ample entertainment and reading material in exchange for their time.  It also recommends the participants use the time and opportunity to enrol in some online courses.

Half the participants will undergo treatments akin to that of an 'artificial gravity' chamber. They will be spun around in a centrifuge at 30 revolutions a minute in the hope it will force blood back into their extremities.  It is hoped comparing and contrasting the physical deterioration of the two groups - spun and not spun - will provide data to help mitigate this during long-term space travel. A three month time block will need to be cleared in order to take part in the study as a two week period of rehabilitation will follow the test and the 60 day slog is preceded by a five day orientation period.

This is not entirely new as in 2013 too, NASA offered   around $18,000 for lying in bed, playing games on your phone, reading books, skyping with your friends and family, taking online classes – and even go on with your day job if you can get away with working remotely, so long as you don’t get out of bed for that entire duration.

So would you rush for this dream job where you get paid for being idle (summa iru)

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Mar 2019.

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