Learn How Deaf Volunteers Helped NASA

Back in the late 1950s, NASA conducted several experiments to understand how the lack of gravitational force in the outerspace might affect the astronauts. In order to find out the results, at the time, the space agency worked with different groups who volunteer. Recently, NASA released how a group of eleven deaf men helped them to understand the effects

The agency said, “These experiments help to improve understanding of how the body’s sensory systems work when the usual gravitational cues from the inner ear aren’t available.”

Although 10 of the 11 volunteers had lost their hearing abilities when they were young, they provided near perfect opportunities to NASA to understand how the lack of gravity would affect human body. In order to find out, the space agency tested the volunteers on a physical and psychological level to find out how humans perceive and respond to certain movements like rotation and the heaving of sea waves.

NASA said in in a statement, “One test saw four subjects spend 12 straight days inside a 20-foot slow rotation room, which remained in a constant motion of ten revolutions per minute,” NASA said. “In another scenario, subjects participated in a series of zero-g flights in the notorious ‘Vomit Comet’ aircraft to understand connections between body orientation and gravitational cues.”

However, till date, there hasn’t been any deaf astronaut. But, there has been progress in last few years to accommodate hearing impaired individuals in the space program.

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons

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