Houston, we have a slight case of nausea

NASA referred to its KC-125 aircraft as the “weightless wonder” because it carried college students and their experiments into micro-gravity by flying in parabolic patterns to create an environment of near weightlessness. But most members of S&T’s Miners in Space program in the early 2000s knew it as the “vomit comet” for its motion sickness-inducing flight pattern. S&T students boarded the aircraft — and later a C-9 and Boeing 727 — to conduct experiments in near-zero gravity as part of NASA’s Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. Their experiments helped NASA better understand how conditions aboard spacecraft could affect situations considered normal on earth. Many S&T projects involved welding experiments, but Miners in Space students also tested cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in microgravity.

“CPR is a lifesaving treatment that’s used when an individual’s heart either stops beating or is in an irregular rhythm that results in little to no blood circulation,” said Keenan Johnson, president of Miners in Space in 2012 and a 2014 computer engineering graduate. “As space flight duration increases and the general populace starts to journey into space, the likelihood of an event should drastically increase, and is almost inevitable.”

Share This Story

Spark a Memory?

Share your story! Fill out the form below to share your fondest memory or anecdote of S&T. If you'd prefer not typing, you can also share by phone at 833-646-3715 (833-Miner150).

Memories from “Mr. Miner,” Jerry Bayless

Memories from “Mr. Miner,” Jerry Bayless

After earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1959, Jerry Bayless began teaching in the department...

An out-of-this-world championship

An out-of-this-world championship

How does a team go from worst to first in a matter of just a few years? Missouri S&T’s Mars…

Endurance was her middle name

Endurance was her middle name

The first woman to earn a degree from S&T, Eva Endurance Hirdler Greene, class of 1911, received the general science…

Stonehenge, ‘tis a magic place…’

Stonehenge, ‘tis a magic place…’

When the band Spinal Tap sang of Stonehenge as a “magic place … where the moon doth rise with a…

Builders of the bomb

Builders of the bomb

The U.S. government’s Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the first nuclear weapons, was a massive but highly…

Building a legacy of mechanical engineering

Building a legacy of mechanical engineering

A registered professional engineer, John Toomey, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering in 1949 and 1951, founded…