Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Being paid to lie down for NASA? Seven opportunities for wannabe astronauts

It takes an extraordinary physique, high IQ, and years of training to become a bona-fide space-travelling astronaut. But if that rules you out there are plenty of 'experiments' needing volunteers to boldly go where erm, other people might not really want to...

1. Fancy a lie down?

NASA are recruiting subjects for a 15 week stint of lying in bed to research the strains of microgravity on astronauts during long missions. With the volunteers set to earn $5,000 a month it has its upsides; but you can't stand up for the entire period, so trips to the loo are out...

2. Or being locked in a steal tube?

The Mars 520 day project saw six men locked away in steel tubes for a year-and-a-half. This mission, ‘the longest space voyage ever’ (despite taking place on earth), aimed to gather knowledge and prepare for a real trip to the red planet. Perhaps a little claustrophobic.

3. Or going to Hawaii?

With the aim of finding out how best to feed Mars-bound astronauts, scientists at Cornell University will soon send six volunteers on a four-month trip to Hawaii to live and work like astronauts inside a faux-space capsule. Aloha, misery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Or being kept at a head-down tilt?

NASA, once again. The space agency are currently recruiting for a new 70-day study in which volunteers will be kept in a tilted position, head down and feet up, to mimic the effects of weightlessness in space flight. Short exercise breaks will test the effectiveness of exercise during space travel on the loss of muscle, bone and cardiovascular function.

5. Or, erm, being separated from your twin and actually sent to space?

Scott and Mark Kelly, NASA astronauts and identical twins, will be serving as guinea pigs for new research. While Scott will spend a year on the International Space Station,  Mark, now retired, will live out his normal life in Arizona, acting as an experimental control while experiments are carried out on his gravity-free brother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Or going up to Mars and never coming home?

NASA aims to have a man on Mars by 2020, with prior missions aiming to settle on the moon as an intermediary stepping stone. NASA is confident that there will be no shortage of applicants for such missions describing them as no different from ‘the pioneering spirit of many in past history, who took the one-way trip across the ocean’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Or colonising another planet?

Dutch non-profit organization Mars One wants to create a human settlement on Mars by the year 2023. Thousands of hopefuls have applied already, happy to leave friends and loved ones behind for a life of watching DVDs on the red planet.

React Now

Read Next
The possibility of Corbyn winning has excited some Conservatives  

Labour leadership: The choice at the heart of the leadership campaign

Jeremy Corbyn
Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain’s anti-austerity party Podemos  

Greece debt crisis: Trouble is, if you help the Greeks, everyone will want the same favours

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy