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Chair, Spacelab MVI Experiments, STS-42

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This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Mall building.


Manufacturer: NASA - Johnson Space Center

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: 3-D: 53.3 x 50.8 x 137.2cm (21 x 20 x 54 in.)

Materials: aluminum, bronze, foam, nylon, paint, plastic, synthetic fabric, stainless steel, Velcro, silicone rubber

This chair was used for a set of experiments flown on the Space Shuttle during the STS-42 flight in 1992, the first International Microgravity Laboratory mission. An astronaut seated in this chair could be rotated upright, sideways, or lying down while eye movements and other sensations were recorded.

Scientists studying the human response to weightlessness are interested in the sensory systems that govern balance and orientation, particularly the responses of the eyes and the vestibular organs in the inner ear when a person is in motion. Doing motion experiments in space helps researchers understand how physical responses that normally are influenced by gravity behave in microgravity and how astronauts adapt to spaceflight. NASA transferred this Microgravity Vestibular Investigations equipment to the Museum when it was no longer needed for research.

Transferred from NASA, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

Inventory number: A20050096000

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