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Bodies in the Space Environment: Relative Contributions of Internal and External Cues to Self-Orientation, during and After Zero Gravity Exposure (ILSRA_2004_106)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Studies done in an aircraft that produce brief periods of microgravity suggest that, in the absence of gravity, people rely more on body cues than vision to tell them which way is up. This study examined whether the same is true on the International Space Station (ISS). Scientists noted that the ISS can be "tricky" because it contains different modules that are not all in a straight line. An astronaut in one module who perceives the floor to be where their feet are may become disoriented when they float into another module. Crewmembers often go through a right angle to go between one module and another, therefore whatever corresponds to the ground in one module will not necessarily match in another module. Scientist believed that these issues may also affect astronauts during spacewalks. When the astronauts go outside of the spacecraft, they must adjust their orientation and use whatever visual cues they have. The specific objective of this study is to conduct experiments during long-duration microgravity conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to microgravity and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth.

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Visual fields
Visual perception

Photo Gallery
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Cues, body
Cues, visual
Mental imagery
Orientation relative to body position
Perception, vertical
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 19 03/26/2009 10/11/2009 199 days
Expedition 20 05/27/2009 10/11/2009 137 days
Expedition 21 10/11/2009 12/01/2009 51 days
Expedition 22 11/30/2009 03/18/2010 109 days
Expedition 23 03/18/2010 06/01/2010 75 days
Expedition 24 06/01/2010 09/25/2010 117 days
Expedition 25 09/24/2010 11/25/2010 31 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Proposal Date
Proposal Source