Some personal news: I will be embarking on a new professional adventure — eating pancakes in bed for 60 days — effective as soon as NASA and the European Space Agency hire me. I love blogging very much and am saddened to leave lizard news behind, but when the clarion call sounds, we must answer.
And truly, I don’t think I’ve ever been more qualified for a position than the one NASA and the ESA currently seek to fill. Let me tell you a little bit about the job. In order to figure out exactly how a lack of gravity affects astronauts’ bodies, the two agencies have planned a study at the German Aerospace Center. Participants must remain completely bed-bound for two months, during which time, according to CNN:
A team of nutritionists will curate the meals so that participants do not gain weight and have all the nutrients they need. However, the German Aerospace Center says on its website that the meals are not “extra healthy,” and there will sometimes be pancakes or other sweet treats.
It’s not like my life will be all flapjacks and snackos, though: The downside here is that my bed will be tilted at a 6-degree incline, such that my feet are higher than my head, and I won’t be able to get out of it for anything — not to go to the bathroom, not to eat, not to shower. That doesn’t sound particularly comfortable, but these are the sacrifices we must make for science: We know that removing gravitational stress on the body means bones and muscles degenerate, while all the fluids rush to the head. To combat that deterioration, astronauts have to spend an ungodly number of hours exercising, which seems like a waste of space time to me.
Researchers appear to agree, and have designed a “short-arm human centrifuge” that makes “artificial gravity,” per CNN. My mission, as I understand it, will be to court muscular atrophy in a simulated spaceship scenario, so the scientists can use me as a guinea pig and see if their centrifuge works. Should I accept, I would be given $18,522 for my time.
Why am I so convinced I’ll be selected for this very important duty? Well. NASA and the ESA seek 12 women between the ages of 24 and 55, who don’t smoke but do speak German, and can be available between September and December of 2019. Check, check, check, and check. Additionally, being in bed ranks high on my list of favorite activities. Also! I maintain an active interest in both the growing of moon clothes and aliens, and in order to gather more info about these topics, the astronauts must have as much latitude as possible to explore astronomical pursuits. I am happy to help them out by eating breakfast in bed, really it feels like the least I could do.