Many of us have experienced some sort of motion sickness. Whether it’s in an automobile or a fast moving boat, there are certain precautions that help “reign-in” the symptoms. Medication, deep breathing, and other methods can help.
Space Adaptation Syndrome (SAS) is different in that gravity plays a crucial role in our spatial orientation. While traveling in a weightless environment like space, it can be difficult for astronauts to adapt to the different physiological processes that help them keep their balance.
Symptoms of SAS include nausea (similar to what we experience when we have motion sickness), the feeling of being disoriented, and even visual illusions.
From the earliest days of our Space Program the issue of space motion sickness was reported to be a problem experienced by many astronauts. If an astronaut complained about sickness, they were removed from the flight list. As you can imagine, if you’ve trained to become a space traveler, this would be devastating news. So, many did their best to hide any symptoms.
The most extreme case of SAS was experienced by US Senator Jake Garn (yes, there have been several politicians who’ve traveled into Space!). Senator Garn experienced such severe nausea, disorientation, and discomfort that to this day astronauts measure space sickness on the “Garn scale.”
Today, NASA astronauts acclimate themselves to weightlessness through methods which include flying aboard a KC-135 airplane that flies in parabolic arcs to create periods of weightlessness. Motion sickness medications can help prevent the effects as well, but space travelers are given the opportunity to take a day or two to adapt to the different conditions at the beginning of their voyage.
Most of us will never travel beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, but we might benefit from the study of Space Adaptation Syndrome. That’s one reason we’re excited about this year’s theme for Camp Infinity, Space Exploration!
During this year’s camps, campers will uncover how we can apply the four areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in our study of the benefits of mankind’s endeavors to explore the heavens.
Campers will also learn how all this relates to our Creator! Learn more at campinfinity.com/camps.