So what exactly is it like to spend 60 days in bed? Three women who participated in the first campaign of the Women International Space Simulation for Exploration (WISE) bed rest study tell us here about their experiences.
For 60 days, Dorota, Elisabeth and Marjo, as well as nine other women, stayed in bed, tilted head down at an angle of 6º below horizontal, so that their heads are slightly lower than their feet. This position results in physiological changes that also occur in astronauts during spaceflight. The study is looking into the roles of nutrition and combined physical exercise in countering the adverse effects of prolonged gravitational unloading by bed rest.
The three women share the highs and lows of their involvement in the study, explaining their reasons for taking part, how they passed the time in bed, and describing the joy of being able to get out of bed after 60 days.
The WISE study is a joint venture between the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency (CNES), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The research is being carried out at MEDES, the French Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology, in the clinical research facility at the Rangueil hospital in Toulouse, France.
Dorota (25) is from Krakow, Poland. She is a student, studying Translation and Interpreting in Turin, Italy.
Part 1: Applying to take part »»
Part 2: A daily routine »»
Part 3: Getting out of bed »»
Part 4: Back to normal life »»
Elisabeth Giesen (30) is from Stuttgart, Germany. She is currently studying for a second degree in business law at the Fern-Universität Hagen.
Part 1: Why take part? »»
Part 2: A typical day »»
Part 3: Confined to bed »»
Part 4: The highs and the lows »»