Falling stomach

  1. how come when we fall near the earth, our stomachs lurch, but astronauts in their free-fall state out in orbit feel fine?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Janus

    Janus 2,424
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'd say that it has to do more with acclimation than anything else. On Earth we generally don't fall long enough to get used to the sensation. In orbit the body just adjusts to the new "norm" and eventually just ignores it.
     
  4. pervect

    pervect 8,010
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Some astronauts do get space-sickness. Last I heard, in spite of a fair amount of research, nobody has been able to predict which ones will get space-sick and which one's won't. One might think that the short duration free-fall flights in the "vomit comet" would help screen out astronauts that were prone to space-sickness, but apparently this doesn't actually work.

    This is frome a usenet posting from a usually reliable source:

    http://yarchive.net/space/science/spacesickness.html
     
  5. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    This might involve visual stimulae as well as physical situations. I, for instance, am absolutely terrified of heights but will do anything in an aeroplane. There are no reference lines to the ground, so it doesn't feel like being 'high'. Low-g in a plane feels perfectly natural (barely noticeable), but it bugs the hell out of me in an elevator or in those instances when my car leaves the ground briefly. I would expect that to be worse in a space-station environment, where every movement makes your body act like a gyroscope and things that should be on the ground are floating around your head.
     
  6. I know the feeling you're talking about, and still get it if the car goes over a hump backed bridge, but I've been skydiving for 30 years, and have never suffered the same sensation, although 10,000 - 13,000 ft is still "near the earth" compared with astronauts.
     
  7. If you're skydiving you should spend most of the time at terminal velocity and not accelerating, so you wouldn't get it as badly as an astronaut at least. Interesting that you've never felt it all though.
     
  8. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    I will never understand why anyone would voluntarily climb out of a perfectly good aeroplane. :grumpy:

    And you started doing that just about the same time that I started driving them. :biggrin:
     
  9. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    There is only one way to gain that understanding... :wink:
     
  10. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    That would involve telepathy, which I don't believe in, because sure as hell I'm never gonna do it myself.
     
  11. Those who believe in psycokinesis... raise my hand.
     
  12. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    So where do you get that name?
     
  13. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    You don't wanna know. Let's just say that it's earned.
     
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