The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity

Back in the golden era of space exploration – the 1960’s, NASA scientists were concerned with how astronauts would orient their bodies in space. This led to a watershed study at Stanford, featured in the International Journal of Solids and Structures, entitled “A Dynamical Explanation of the Falling Cat Phenomenon.”

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity
IMAGE: RALPH CRANE/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 

 

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity
IMAGE: RALPH CRANE/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 

Partly funded by NASA the study analysed the falling cat phenomenon, i.e. how cats right themselves mid air and land on their feet when they fall upside down.

Through the research, it was hoped that astronauts could learn from cats how to develop manoeuvers that would help them in zero gravity conditions.

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity
IMAGE: RALPH CRANE/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 

 

 

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity
IMAGE: RALPH CRANE/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 

Conditions were tested by a gymnast on a trampoline. Anyway…the pictures always tell a better story!!

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity
IMAGE: RALPH CRANE/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 

 

 

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity
IMAGE: RALPH CRANE/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 

Images courtesy of Mashable/Life Magazine.

Click here to buy the book that features all of these kooky images!

 

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