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Science & Exploration

N° 74–2001: Bedrest study phase 1 comes to an end: meet the scientists and volunteers

6 December 2001

In August this year ESA, CNES and NASDA started the first period of a study to validate countermeasures to cope with the demands of long-duration missions aboard the International Space Station when 14 male volunteers were confined to bed for 90 days, lying in a strict -6° head-down tilt position, the best for simulating certain effects of the weightless environment of space.


Long stays in weightlessness affect the human body, as evidenced by changes to bone and muscle in particular. During the "bedrest" study conducted at the MEDES space clinic in Toulouse (France), scientists have been able to collect a wealth of data and will continue to do so with a second group of subjects currently being selected, while the first group resume their ordinary lives before Christmas. The participants will be followed up in specific check-ups on bone and muscle status at set intervals over one year.

The scientists and volunteers will be sharing their experience with media representatives at a press conference to be held on Monday 17 December from 11:00 to 12:30 at Toulouse Rangueil hospital, Avenue Joean Poulhès, Salle Claude Louis (tbc by CNES).


Interested candidates for the second campaign, planned from March to August 2002 can still apply. Relevant information can be obtained either by calling a vocal server:

French: 33 (0) 5 62 19 28 96

English: 33 (0)5 62 19 28 97

or via the MEDES web site

Please fill in the attached reply form for accreditation.

For futher information, please contact :

ESA Communications Department

Media Relations Office

Tel: +33(0)

Fax :+33(0)

CNES Commumnication

Press Office

Eliane Moreaux

Tel : +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)


Bedrest Press Conference

Monday 17 December 2001 - 11:00 to 12:30

Toulouse Rangueil Hospital

Avenue Jean Poulhès, Toulouse

Salle Claude Louis

Surname : _________________ First name :___________________

MEDIA : _____________________________________________________

Address : ___________________________________________________


Tel : _____________________ Fax: ________________________

Mobile : ___________________ e-mail : _____________________

[ ] I will be attending the Press Conference

[ ] I will not be attending

Please fax this form to :

Eliane Moreaux, CNES Toulouse

Fax : +33(0).


Bedrest Press Conference

Monday 17 December 2001

Toulouse Rangueil Hospital, Avenue Jean Poulhès, Toulouse

Salle Claude Louis, 11:00-12:30


11:00 Didier Schmitt, ESA, Head of Life Sciences.

Guillemette Gauquelin Koch, Head of Scientific project, CNES Programmatic Aspects

11:10 Benny Elmann-Larsen, Project Manager: Lessons learned from the first study

11:15 Dr. Jacques Bernard, Medes: Health and psychological aspects of the study

11:20 Prof. D. Felsenberg, Principal Investigator for bone investigations, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

11:30 Prof. P. Tesch, Karolinska Institutet, Principal Investigator for Muscle investigations, Stockholm, Sweden

11:40 Questions and Answers with the subjects

12:30 End (cocktail)


For further information:

Media Relations office

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)