Splashdown: An Astronaut Falls to Earth—in the Sea

Saturday, January 9, 2010: 3:10 PM
Manchester Ballroom A (Hyatt)
Joyce E. Chaplin , Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
While most of their Soviet counterparts did actually land on terra firma, NASA astonauts generally returned to “earth” by “landing” in the ocean.  The experience of these unlikely seafarers, which often entailed a bizarre transition from space sickness to sea sickness, contributed to the long-standing suspicion among seafarers and the doctors who studied them that humans are distinctly terrestrial creatures.