How are astronauts trained for weightlessness?
Before the astronauts going to space, they must be trained in a capsule, which is devoid of gravity, right? My question is how this room or capsule become devoid of gravity, and what is its machanism?
A person feels weightless when he is undergoing free-fall; for example a person who is diving from a high platform will feel weightlessness till he/she hits the water. NASA uses a modified KC135 four engine jet to fly on a parabolic orbit so that for a certain period of time, it is falling freely towards Earth. In this period, astronauts practice eating, drinking and using various kinds of onboard shuttle equipment. Training on these (called vomit comet) normally lasts from 1 to 2 hours.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.
This page has been accessed 16635 times since March 9, 2003.
Last modified: March 9, 2003 4:34:21 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)