Through Lucie Fraissé
Advance science and space research by lying down for five days in a bathtub: this is what Claire Burgain, a resident of Toulouse 39 years old.
Recreate the effects of weightlessness
She is indeed one of the 20 women selected by the Institute of Spatial Medicine and Physiology (Medes), based in the Pink City, for a clinical study which must simulate and measure the effects of weightlessness. For five days she will be diving in a bathtub, on the principle of dry immersion which allows to faithfully reproduce the living conditions of astronauts in the International Space Station.
Editorial director of an audiovisual production agency, Claire is in charge of scientific and technical culture and works regularly on themes related to space. “When I heard about the project, I said to myself that it must be a sacred experience to live, indicated the young woman. And then I like the idea of participating, in a way, in space exploration, of being part of something bigger than yourself. “
A study for the European space agency
After sending an application email to Medes, Claire is quickly contacted by phone. “I was asked very pragmatic questions about my age, my BMI, my eating habits, my contraception system, my living and working conditions…”.
A first questionnaire which confirms that Claire corresponds to the profile sought for this Medes study, launched at the request of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Blood tests, urine tests, eye tests …
After this interview, the young woman receives a document of about forty pages which weighed details… “I was not surprised by the content of the tests, but rather by their quantity! ”
In total, Claire, like the other guinea pigs in the experiment, will stay eleven days at the space clinic: four days in “classic” hospitalization, five days in dry immersion in a bathtub and two days to allow recovery and recovery. take new measurements.
“I have blind faith in science and medicine and I am not cozy: I have no fear in that regard. What worries me more is having to stay five days without moving. .. “
“I’m not gonna jump out of the tub screaming ‘let me out!’ ”
Very athletic – she is also a gym teacher – Claire is used to exercising every day. And loves the great outdoors. “It’s really necessary for my daily well-being, so I know it’s going to be tough. But OK I also have a pretty strong mind, so I don’t think I’m gonna jump out of the tub screaming ‘let me out!’ I am also a little apprehensive about having to go without coffee, I usually drink a lot! “.
In September, the young woman spent a morning at the space clinic to undergo examinations – including a very extensive stress test on a bicycle similar to those passed by the astronauts – which confirmed that she was well suited to become a guinea pig of experience.
Hospitalization at the end of November
She will be hospitalized at the end of November, and will then be placed under the constant supervision of caregivers, in the same room as another woman. “I hope she will be nice! I also see this experience as an opportunity to meet new people and deepen my knowledge in the field of spatial“.
Claire will be allowed to communicate with her relatives during the experience and will thus keep contact with her 4-year-old son. “I told him that I was going to the hospital to help the astronauts : I think I now have a little heroine side in her eyes. “
A heroine who will advance science: the results of this study should not only benefit astronauts, but also benefit patients on Earth. Advances that are well worth going without coffee for a few days!
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