In November, we ran a story about a NASA study that was paying Andrew Iwanicki $18,000 to lie in bed for three months. This is how the remainder of the study went.
I woke up on December 2, and for the first time in 70 days, I stood up. Or at least I tried to. The nurses wheeled me over to a hospital bed that would be tilted vertically, with blood pressure cuffs hugging my arm and my finger, an ultrasound machine pointing at my heart. Then they told me, with the encouragement that you'd give a toddler learning to walk, to try standing for 15 minutes.
As soon as the bed was tilted to the vertical position, my legs felt heavier than ever before. My heart started to beat at 150 BPMs. My skin became itchy; I was covered in sweat. Blood rushed into my legs, expanding the veins that had become increasingly elastic throughout the past several months of bed rest. I felt like I was going to faint. I was fighting to remain standing from the start, and it only became more difficult. Around the eight-minute mark, my pulse dropped from 150 down to 70. My body was about to collapse. As my vision started to go black, the staff saw my numbers drop on the machines and promptly returned the bed to the horizontal position. It was only later that they told me that none of the NASA bed-rest subjects have lasted the full 15 minutes. ...[Continue reading on VICE]