Spaceflight Vertigo Solved By NASA Releasing The Kraken
The disorientation device from Hell is now available!
A group of 24 active duty service members will get to ride the 50-foot-long (15 meters) machine for 60 minutes, spinning like a dirty sock inside a washing machine at accelerations up to three times the force of gravity to simulate what astronauts experience during spaceflight, NASA announced on Wednesday.
Science fiction movie fans have plenty of choices:
And of course:
Neither of these are predictions, since these machines were in use even before the Second World War:
Kevin Rusnak, AFRL senior historian, discussed the history of centrifuges in North America as well as the historical partnership the Air Force and earlier, the Army Air Corps, has had with astronauts and the space program.
“Dr. Harry Armstrong was the first to build a centrifuge back in 1935 for the then Army Air Forces, and as far as we know, he was the first to build one in North America,” Rusnak said. “He had the shops (which was then Wright Field) construct it to do the first aeromedical testing and is considered the father of aviation medical research.”
A second centrifuge was built and used through World War II, but then a third was constructed at Wright-Patt(erson AFB) and used to test and select astronauts for Project Mercury in the late 1950s, Rusnak explained.