Cats in space!

Poor kitty... (2MB Quicktime)

Almost as good: Pinky.

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16 Responses:

  1. neevita says:

    Hah, I beat you!

  2. azul_ros says:

    That is kinda sad.... I love cats too much to laugh at it.

  3. xomox says:

    Very interesting, though I was unable to find the video where they dropped buttered toast...

  4. gnat23 says:

    Wow. Was that really up in space, or was it that plane-in-free-fall sort of trick?

    Now, the true control would be to butter the cat's back up there... the perpetual motion may be enough to light a small city forever.

    • jwz says:

      Looks like the Vomit Comet. There still seems to be very slight downward gravity.

      • giantlaser says:

        Yes, that is definitely the Vomit Comet. However, I don't think this is the current generation KC-135A, but a previous one. The experimenters are unusually young for NASA standard, which means they are probably there as part of the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities.

        I participated in a RGSFO project 3.5 years ago. The flightsuits in this video are different from the ones used when I flew. At that time, flight crew and attendants wear blue Nomex jumpsuits and students wear olive drab. No one was allowed to wear colors outside of this range.

        Finally, the Vomit Comit is a microgravity environment during the experiment phase - there is a slight variance in gravity which could be up or down. But it is not apparent from the motion of objects inside. You're just seeing the efforts of the humans on board to orient themselves toward a common "floor". Plus the cat is rebounding pretty badly, and the ankle off the bulkhead sends it "down".

        The Vomit Comet (do not ever use this phrase with the NASA techs) has a flight parabola like so:

        22 seconds gravity 1.8 G (bottom part of parabola)
        3-5 second transition (flat area as bottom curve becomes top curve)
        22 seconds microgravity, -0.1G < g < 0.1G (top of parabola)
        3-5 second transition (flat area as top curve becomes bottom curve)

        Contrary to popular (incorrect) opinions of physics, it has nothing to do with freefalling really fast.

        • nothings says:

          That's an entirely opaque description of the flight trajectory, since parabolas don't have "top curves" and "bottom curves".

          More effective perhaps to just provide a diagram:


          I'm not sure what popular opinion of "really fast" freefall is, but ignoring air resistance, this is freefall. (Of course, ignoring air resistance may be "popular science" not "real science", but that didn't stop most of my physics professors.) I mean, there's a reason it's a parabola.

          • masterkill says:

            It's only that zero-g section that's necessarily parabolic, right? The way I figure it, you only get zero-g if you're both: (a) following a parabola and (b) going at the right speed (accelerating downwards at 9.8m/s/s). And you want an actual parabola, not some parabola with some correction for air resistance applied.

  5. equiraptor says:

    Awww, poor cat!

    And, Go get 'em, Pinky!

  6. flipzagging says:

    It looks like they are checking if the cat can land on its feet in zero-g. Is there a writeup somewhere?

    • ultranurd says:

      I wonder if the cat understands or is aware that its perceptions are being fooled, or if it's just really freaked out.

      In other news, I want to go into space! :o)

  7. zhixel says:

    That video really makes NASA seem like a bunch of assholes.

    • guyver3 says:

      for acting like 5 year olds with the family pet?

      or for spending 14 million made-in-the-u-s-of-a greenbbacks to scientifically test if the 5 year old in you ever leaves?

      or for inveting the first fur covered blender?

  8. qacdefeej says:

    Any suggestions on where I could find a working link??

    And yeah: GO PINKY!