The Skylab program studied the human body's reaction to long-duration flight in a microgravity (weightless) environment. Skylab astronauts used a rotating litter chair identical to this one to test their balance, coordination, and susceptibility to motion sickness in space. Data was collected about changes in human gravity receptors and about the sensitivity of the semicircular canals of the inner ear where motion is perceived. The motion tests were conducted on each of the then long-duration flights of 28, 59 and 84 days in 1973-1974.
Under contract with the Naval Aerospace Medical Lab, Pensacola, Fla., four units were fabricated at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Central Engineering Laboratory. NASA donated this unflown rotating chair to the Museum in 1976 for display in the backup Skylab orbital workshop.