Image: 1983 ESA Spacelab sled experiment

Nov 27, 2013
Credit: ESA

A test subject sitting on Sled, an ESA experiment launched on Spacelab-1 on 28 November 1983. Sled investigated space sickness by monitoring eye movement as the seat moved horizontally and tilted while cold or hot air was blown into the astronaut's ears.

The in the helps to keep balance and navigate the space around us. In weightlessness an astronaut's vestibular system works differently and the sense of equilibrium changes, causing space sickness. The Sled experiment allowed researchers to understand how the vestibular system adapts to living in space.

Spacelab was a European-built reusable space laboratory that flew on the Space Shuttle from 1983 to 1998. Elements of Spacelab design feature in later ESA space hardware such as the Columbus laboratory and the Automated Transfer Vehicles.

Spacelab surveyed the possibilities of weightless research in many scientific areas, paving the way for research on the International Space Station. Spacelab experiments led to space-age metals used in mass-produced smartphones and revealed areas of space research that show promise in treating chronic muscle diseases.

Explore further: Happy birthday, space station

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Happy birthday, space station

Nov 20, 2013

The International Space Station celebrates its birthday today, 15 years after the first module was launched in 1998.

Czechs ink deal with US space tourism firm

Nov 19, 2013

Czech universities and firms have received the go-ahead to conduct scientific research on board an American space tourism aircraft, the Czech Space Office (CSO) said Tuesday.

The worm that feels at home in space

Jul 11, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Astronauts return to Earth weakened and unsteady after weightlessness and radiation in space take their toll on the human body. New research now shows that the humble nematode worm adapts much ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0