Categories: Space Flight

How Do Cats Deal With Being Weightless?

Since my previous post was about dogs, its time to give equal time to the cats … although I’m guessing the cat lovers of the world won’t have a great reaction to this one. Here’s some footage from some the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories which include a test of the effects of weightlessness on cats in a C-131 “vomit comet” that simulates weightlessness. Best I can tell, this research was done in 1947. Think of it in the same vein as all those weird tests the early astronauts had to endure.

The text from the video: “In these experiments you can see the disorientation resulting when an animal is suddenly placed in a weightless state. Cats when dropped under normal conditions will invariably rotate their bodies longitudinally in midar and land on their feet. This automatic reflex action is almost completely lost under weightlessness.”

The research was conducted by Bioastronautics Research, part of the Air Force and the Department of Defense.

Amy Shira Teitel has a great post about the early medical tests on astronauts: As she wrote, “The Mercury astronauts only half joked during a 1959 press conference that the doctors had probed every orifice the human male has to offer, and then some, all in the name of ‘science’.”

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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