Va. students build disorientation chair for NASA

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by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) -- High school students in Virginia have finished building NASA a spinning chair that astronauts in Texas will use to practice being disoriented.

The chair was made by 16 students under a NASA program where high school students build real-world products. It underwent its first test spins at NASA's Langley Research Center on Thursday.

Every four years, astronauts are required to undergo a refresher course in what's called a Barany Chair.  The chairs are hand-spun at speeds much slower than an amusement park ride. But whoever sits in one and rests their head on a bar surrounding the chair as it spins becomes dizzy and loses their bearings as they lift their heads and raise their arms.

The chair will be sent to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston in June.
 

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