How Being Deaf Made the Difference in Space Research
July 4, 2017 1:33 PM Subscribe
In the 1950s, NASA needed test subjects who were immune from motion sickness to investigate the effects of space flight and weightlessness on the human body. So they looked to the Deaf community, recruiting 11 men who were students at Gallaudet University as volunteer test subjects. All but one of the volunteers lost their hearing from spinal meningitis, which can kill nerve and hair cells in the inner ear, essential elements of the vestibular system - the system that can trigger motion sickness. The volunteers, known as the "Gallaudet Eleven," are now being honoured in an exhibit hosted by Gallaudet University, entitled "Deaf Difference + Space Survival" (video here).
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