Friday, February 27, 2009

1960s Bed Pilots

"Experiment proves first man on Mars will have tender feet."

Continuing yesterday's achive theme, this July 24th, 1968 article shows Christopher Stevenson as the longest-serving healthy volunteer, having simulated weightlessness for the space program from December 1967 to September 1968.

A great find for the history of NASA studies, but what a headache and a half to read! I tried enlarging it graphically on my computer with various programs, but ended up simply using a magnifying glass to transcribe the text of the article for my "N A S A * Research * Articles" collection.

NASA space flight simulation

When James Mulberry of the United Space Alliance visited the research ward, he described his involvement in a similar study conducted by the military in 1967, one of the many 20th Century variations to measure skeletal, circulatory, cardiological or mental changes.

Differences from the modern program:

  • Bedside turntables to play records! Ah, life before the internet…
  • Subjects lost weight, something now curbed with caloric strategies.
  • Subjects spent five weeks being studied after post-bedrest rehab, whereas now they take only a week to gather data, but bring subjects back at key dates over the period of an entire year for blood draws, bone scans, etc.
  • $100 per week!

Guess that sounded adequate back in 1968, but the current studies pay $1075 per week! :)