Deaf participants in NASA's and the U.S. Naval School of Aviation Medicine's joint weightlessness research program sit in a zero-g aircraft that flew out of Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. The program ran from 1958 to 1968.
Credit: U.S. Navy/Gallaudet University collection
A new museum exhibit honors 11 men who made significant contributions to spaceflight in NASA's early days.
In the late 1950s, NASA recruited 11 deaf men from Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) to study the long-term effects of weightlessness on the human body before the agency ultimately sent astronauts to space.
The group of men, also known as the "Gallaudet 11," suffered from inner-ear problems. As a result, they did not experience the adverse effects of motion sickness, making them the perfect candidates for early spaceflight experiments, according to a statement from NASA.